By Jevyn Voss
When there are 600 vehicles on a highway in rush hour traffic, the cars can only go so fast. This is comparable to the speed of Southwestern’s internet connection. The subject has been brought up enough times that the administration decided to act.
The Student Government Association has a suggestion box in the Campus Life office, and the complaints about the slow internet were originally placed there. After multiple complaints were filed, SGA looked into the issue.
Concerns about the internet started during the spring semester of 2012. Once the students voiced their concerns, SGA conducted a survey to see if there were any particular places on campus that were experiencing more trouble than others.
Anastasia Prokopis, SGA president said, “We found that it was certain times during the day that showed the most problems. This is due to more people being online at one time and using a large amount of bandwidth at one time.”
After gathering the results, SGA took the issue to administration and information services. They have all been working together on ways to solve the issue.
Joshua Hall, communication senior, feels like the internet is available and can be used for classes. “For school work, I can get to everything I need,” said Hall. “But when it comes to passing the time, I go somewhere else to use the internet.”
Ben Lim, vice president of Information Services, said, “The things like phones, tablets, and gaming consoles slow down the internet.”
Media tops the list with the greatest usage. “Netflix, Skype, Facebook and YouTube take up roughly 90% of the traffic,” said Lim.
The college is currently providing 40 megabytes per second (Mbps) of bandwidth, as it has been for three years. The school is buying more bandwidth along with a new caching system to improve the overall speed.
The college will be increasing the original 40 Mbps to 100. However, the available bandwidth for students and staff will not be 100 percent of what is being purchased. The Computer Information Center is only opening a certain amount of it so that they can evaluate how much internet is being used and how much is necessary.
Under the new caching system, if a student watches a video for the first time and it is watched by several other students afterward, it will become a video that loads faster. The new system will load and save that video and it will then be loaded from the system each time rather than from the internet provider.
By the time that students get back from Thanksgiving break, the internet will be updated. The administration will be working over the break to ensure that when students return, the connection will be faster and ready for regular use.
SGA and Information Services appreciate the patience of the students and encourage them to report any problems to the tech help desk 24/7 at (620)229-6444.
Jevyn Voss is a junior majoring in communication. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.