Increased Internet usage leads to slower connection - The Behrend Beacon

Increased Internet usage leads to slower connection

Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Author: Bharat Narra (staff writer)

University Park has removed the 10 GB bandwidth limits this fall semester, allowing flexible internet usage to the students. The removal of the bandwidth allowed the students to enjoy streaming services and programs that consumed higher bandwidth usage. University Park started this process on a trial basis and they continued to monitor the networks to determine its effects on other parts of the system. 

The university wants to provide a higher quality internet service to the students as they initially increased the bandwidth caps from 10 GB a couple of years ago and they still suggest using the Internet in a responsible manner.

The Internet usage has increased significantly this semester due to many students, using streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. These services use huge amounts of bandwidth because they provide high definition video streams. 

The increased Internet usage can also be attributed to increased number of routers in the residence halls, which allows students to connect their smartphones and tablets to the wireless Internet connections. Students are also using the routers to connect their gaming consoles, and they impose a significant load on the network during peak hours of usage. 

With the combination of factors such as University Park removing the bandwidth limits increased the usage of streaming services, an increased number tablets and smartphones and gaming consoles caused network congestion on the residence hall networks. 

University Park was aware of the impact of the increased network usage and decided to place Quality of Service restrictions on the network. 

These limits are automatically present in situations when network congestion is detected. University Park deemed these restrictions necessary to ensure smooth network operations around the campus. 

The non-residence hall traffic will be prioritized over the residence hall network as a temporary solution until the network pipeline upgrade. There are plans to increase the bandwidth pipeline to 1 Gb speed between University Park and Behrend, which will significantly increase the network speeds.

The proposed idea is to be implemented around January and the restrictions on the network will be removed at that time.