Connection speeds receive a boost

Sidney Keith

Kent State is in the experimental stages of increasing the Internet connection speeds on campus.

The connection speed doubled between the Fall 2010 and the Spring 2011 semesters, said Tom Beitl, manager of network and telecom services.

In early December, the university asked the Ohio Academic Resources Network, one of its Internet providers, to increase the speeds, he added.

“The boost was really done on a temporary basis,” Beitl said. ”We’re working to come up with a permanent solution.”

The university currently has two Internet providers: Time Warner and OARnet. The OARnet connection speed was bumped up three-fold, and the Time Warner connection stayed the same, Beitl said.

“Having two separate connections allows the university to stay online in case one connection fails,” he said.

In the past, if one connection failed, the connection speed would slow considerably. But with the faster speeds, people would barely notice an outage, Beitl said.

“We’re trying to determine how much bandwidth we need and which vendor is going to provide it,” he said. ”I don’t have an answer to that at this point.”

An increasing number of devices on the network means the Internet connection on campus receives more demand, and more demand means potentially slower connection speeds, he said.

Professors using YouTube to demonstrate ideas or concepts and a number of new devices like laptops, cell phones and tablets all suck up speed, Beitl said. The faster Internet will allow everything to work.

“The use of multimedia is just growing by leaps and bounds,” said Paul Albert, executive director of Information Services. Whatever bandwidth we had a year or two ago is going to be out of date.”

Contact Sidney Keith at [email protected]