Bandwidth on college campuses has nearly tripled since 2012, with more than 71 percent of schools now offering at least 1 GB, and one in four offering 7GB or more, finds the ACUTA/ACUHO-I 2017 State of ResNet Report. Just as universities are rising to meet challenges posed by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomena, the Internet of Things (IoT) trend is growing quickly and is now taking a foothold on campuses around the country, causing bandwidth demand to reach new, unprecedented levels.

The report, published by The Association for College and University Technology Advancement (ACUTA) and the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I), is the sixth installment of a study to measure the pulse of ResNet practices and policies in higher education. A total of 450 respondents representing 320 institutions participated in the 2017 survey, a 77 percent increase in completion rates since the first study.

“The ‘Internet of Things’ blizzard has descended on U.S. higher-education campuses, bringing with it unprecedented network challenges as student demand for bandwidth reaches new, higher levels every school year,” said Sharon Moore, chair of the ACUTA Environmental Scanning Task Force and Deputy CIO at Smith College. “Our sixth annual ResNet study shows a bit of silver lining this year as we see more schools than ever finding ways to satisfy skyrocketing demand. It’s our hope that this study provides administrators insight into how best to meet the challenges as IoT changes the landscape when students arrive on campus.”

Key insights from the 2017 ACUTA /ACUHO-I State of ResNet Report include:

  • Bandwidth Explodes, though Wi-Fi Needs Boosting: As each school year commences, students come to school with more devices. And they’re using these devices for bandwidth-greedy applications like TV/video consumption and other web-based rich content. To meet these needs, more than 71% of campuses now dedicate at least one gigabyte to the ResNet, a more than three-fold increase from 2012. And, for the first time, 1 in 4 schools is offering 7GB or more. Percentage of on-campus student areas with strong wireless connection dropped six percent to 77 percent.
  • Wireless Costs Go Up, Funding Catches Up: While over half the schools expect wireless costs to increase in the next two years, an equal number saw an increase in ResNet funding. This is encouraging news since funding had lagged behind increasing costs in past years.

(Next page: More of the Report’s findings)


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