Colleges and universities appear to be doing a good jobmaking bandwidth available, with more than 70% offering 1GB or more per student, according to the 2017State of ResNet Report. The study found that available campus bandwidth has increased threefold in the last five years, with about a quarter of the campuses in the survey offering 7GB or more per student.
The survey of 320 colleges and universities reported that while desktops and laptops consume the most bandwidth, smartphones have moved past tablet computers into second place. Smartphones are now seen as academic tools because they allow a more flexible learning environment for multitasking students.
The ResNet report also noted that video entertainment platforms, such as Netflix, consume the largest percentage of campus Wi-Fi, followed by web-based rich content, music, and video games. Classroom learning tools, such as interactive digital textbooks and e-books, were at the bottom of the bandwidth-consumption list.
More than 80% of the institutions reported using bandwidth-management tools, but only 18% cap usage. In addition, 61% of the schools charge a general tech fee to pay for the services.
While bandwidth numbers have improved, a third of the students responding to a 2016 multinational survey said they felt their institutions could still do more. Students claimed that current campus technology was cumbersome and should be more like the apps many use each day on their devices.