Meet the newest cord cutters: college campuses

TV isn’t coming back to school at Northwestern University this fall: The college decided earlier this year that it was going to turn off its campus-wide television service over the summer, Gigaom reports.

“The decision to discontinue NUTV was the result of many factors including demonstrated non-use by our students,” said Northwestern University Information Technology Director Wendy Woodward when asked about the end of the program.

Northwestern University isn’t the only school questioning whether it should keep spending money on TV services, considering that students prefer to stream their shows from online services instead. The growing popularity of Netflix and other streaming services on campus also has system administrators looking for better ways to manage all that traffic.

But with cable TV being not cool enough for school, are colleges accelerating cord cutting trends? Or can new campus-focused services get students excited about TV again?

By far the biggest winner of shifting TV consumption habits on campus seems to be Netflix. The streaming service now accounts for up to 30 percent of all residential downstream internet traffic in the U.S. during peak times, and it’s starting to have an impact on college campus networks as well.

That’s why Internet2, the super-fast next-generation research network interconnecting college campuses across the country, struck a peering agreement with Netflix a year ago.

As a result, Netflix streams are now delivered over Internet2’s infrastructure, thereby significantly lowering bandwidth costs for participating universities. Internet2 has been offering this kind of peering for traffic from a number of the internet’s biggest brands, including Amazon and Google, since 2006. Experts estimate that getting this traffic from Internet2 as opposed to commercial providers cuts colleges’ bandwidth costs in half.

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