Universities are racing to keep up with demand, seeing usage increase year on year. Students are driving the dramatic upsurge, but faculty are also responsible for their fair share of network demands.
An always on home from home
A student’s room is a home from home, somewhere to study, entertain, learn and connect. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to arrive on campus with 7 wireless devices. Add up the Games Console, SMART TV, Smart Watch, Printer, Phone, Tablet and Laptop and you’re there.
No longer are we in the days of Test Card F, when TV shut down overnight. If you want to watch a Netflix marathon at 4am, you will watch a Netflix marathon at 4am. This is where the challenge is two-fold, not only does the University have to provide a continual service, it must also cater to the increasingly rich multimedia demand.
Constant connectivity in our global world
Equally, as leading research institutions, campuses across the world are constantly connected, sharing data in real-time. Time zones have become irrelevant. Being able to work in this way reduces boundaries and opens up opportunities, facilitating world-changing research and expanding great minds.
Meet expectations, attract students
We expect seamless connectivity throughout our lives; it becomes a talking point when this expectation is not met. Having a solid wireless provision is now a factor in attracting students to a University. Or rather the opposite: having a poor wireless infrastructure reduces a student’s interest in applying. This is a baseline expectation and a direct influencer on a University’s income. If student numbers fall, income falls.
Making an investment in infrastructure is no longer just a question for IT, it is a core business decision, affecting turnover, reputation, teaching and research.
Only 10 years ago, the main onus on a University network was for business and research usage. This was much easier to predict both when the bandwidth would be needed, and how much would be needed. Now, heavy student usage has to be added to this load, as well as the huge quantities of data transmitted for research purposes.
Unlike a business, a University can’t feasibly set a BYOD policy, or limit bandwidth. The requirement is to provide a 24/7 service to both match the home-from-home lifestyle experience and facilitate a research institution.
Upgrade to meet demand
Does your campus meet these demands?
If not, it might be time to consider a comprehensive network upgrade. Having the technology in place to monitor and assess your bandwidth usage between students, staff and guests is invaluable. By knowing exactly what is occurring on your network you can plan for the future and allocate resources where and when they’re most needed.
Speak to M-Tech about analysing your current wireless environment, or read more about getting a return on investment from your wireless network. We regularly send out invitations to attend the monthly Aerohive wireless webinar, please join our mailing list to ensure you receive these messages.