What do you see as the biggest challenges colleges face when managing network bandwidth in residence halls, and are administrators generally doing all they can to manage bandwidth issues?
“Generation Z’s anytime, anywhere connectivity expectations for online learning and entertainment, and device and video usage have driven bandwidth demand to unprecedented levels. Even as administrators try their hardest to keep up—by limiting bandwidth, upgrading equipment, etc.—it’s never enough. Colleges and universities must find innovative ways to future-proof their campuses within a predictable funding model.”
—Rajiv Shenoy, CTO, Apogee
“With an increasing number of devices per student, managing and providing equitable bandwidth is a challenge for most colleges. Managing an effective network starts with getting granular visibility into device types, application usage and traffic patterns. By using these insights, alongside network health diagnostic solutions, admins can stay on top of the ever-changing network.”
—Amelie Sutsakhan, product marketing manager, Meraki
LINK TO MAIN ARTICLE: Managing ResNet bandwidth
“One of the biggest networking challenges for colleges and universities is finding the balance between accommodating a viewership that is increasingly consuming high-quality video online, while also having the speed and bandwidth to support the latest applications. Traditional video streaming—like live school athletic events viewed from common living or viewing areas—was easy to design and plan for incremental growth. However, students now consume content when and where they want it. Schools can’t just take into account video consumption, though. There’s gaming, personal IoT devices and, of course, increasingly complex educational resources all growing in use and capability. Add it all up and we’re talking about exponential network resources needed to deliver far more error-free data, with less delay.”
—Mike Mancini, director of sales engineering, Xfinity Communities
“In our opinion, the biggest challenges are how to ensure the bandwidth experience during peak hours and the network instability because of mutual interference problems of Wi-Fi signals. The network facilities will finally decide the bandwidth ability.”
—Zhang Xiaoliang, vice president of the Access Network Product Line, Huawei, and member of The Association of Passive Optical LAN
“Density is the challenge, especially in residence halls housing more than 100 users, and each with several devices sharing limited available bandwidth. Administrators generally have the best intentions, and we are seeing growing interest in Passive Optical LAN solutions to add capacity in response to user device growth and increased consumption per device.”
—Mario Blandini, global marketing, DZS and member of The Association of Passive Optical LAN
Esther Shein is a technology-focused writer based in the Boston area.