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Campuses beware! 4 types of bandwidth-sucking apps

By Bruce Miller
March 29th, 2016

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When education and business mix with recreation on the same network, it creates fundamental challenges with network capacity.

Students, faculty and staff at higher education institutions today struggle with consistently bad internet access via an unsafe and unreliable Wi-Fi connection—mostly due to bandwidth-sucking apps.

Far too often, campus-goers accept poor coverage, slow connections or drop outs as part of the game. While the use of different Wi-Fi connected devices continues to grow unabated, dependence on wireless as a utility comes into the spotlight. A recent Gartner report states, the world will see 25 billion internet-connected things by 2020, nearly 4 times the number connected today. This type of growth places an increased strain on a college campus’ Wi-Fi network.

To provide a utility-grade experience, appropriate enterprise infrastructure in conjunction with a cutting-edge design is key. While these may seem to be obvious considerations, it’s a surprise how often they are shortchanged by unscrupulous vendors or integrators who end up selling largely on price.

If you have appropriately addressed the issues of quality and design, it is important to understand specifically what consumes the capacity on your Wi-Fi network.

Higher education was the first market segment to adopt bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. BYOD brings with it the challenge of mixed usage, which combines critical education and business related application usage (e.g., online instruction, cloud storage, communication) with recreational application usage (e.g., streaming video, social media, gaming).

When education and business mix with recreation on the same network, it creates fundamental challenges with network capacity. The network must be intelligent enough to appropriately prioritize what is important and de-prioritize (or even block) what is not.

(Next page: 4 bandwidth-sucking apps)


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