Apple update bogs down college campus networks

Any question about the ubiquity of Apple products on college campuses was surely answered last week.

Colleges also see traffic spikes during March Madness.

The update to Apple’s new operating system became available, and students downloading iOS7 brought campus networks to a crawl, with some students taking to social media to complain about the bogged-down networks.

Campus IT departments, which already struggle to ramp up internet bandwidth to satisfy students’ growing demand for bandwidth-hogging video, went as far as to block the downloading of Apple’s much-anticipated iOS7.

The influx of iOS7 downloads brought some campus networks — including the one at Abilene Christian University (ACU) — to something comparable to dial-up internet speeds.

The Apple update isn’t the first time campus technology officials have had to deal with a spike in bandwidth use. Many campuses have struggled to meet bandwidth demand during the NCAA Tournament in March, when thousands of students stream games involving their school’s basketball team.

The Apple iOS7 was released Sept. 17. There are more than 60 million Apple devices that use the company’s operating system, with the majority of those in North America.

Ohio University’s IT communications director asked in a school-wide eMail for students to hold off on downloading Apple’s iOS7 update until after the campus’s network issues were resolved.

University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) told its students in an eMail sent just hours after the iOS7 update became available that the school would block access to Apple’s servers to maintain some semblance of internet access.

See Page 2 for more on ‘event-driven network spikes’…