Why Penn State’s Bandwidth Limitation Sucks

State of TechnologyAs Penn State students, we are very familiar with the bandwidth limitation.  The 4 gigabyte a week download/4 gigabyte a week upload limit is something that I truly hate.
What Penn State fails to realize is that now more than ever, the internet is for fun as well as work.  As a hardcore gamer, I am frequently downloading new patches and mods for my games.  Some of these may take up to half of my bandwidth!  Several services, the most popular of which being Steam, by Valve Corporation, allow people to buy games legally and easily over the internet.  Unfortunately, I can’t take advantage of this great service due to the restriction on bandwidth.

YouTube is now offering videos in High Quality and HD, and Hulu legally features many of my favorite shows.  Because of this, many students have also been streaming more videos than ever before.  But of course, since ResCom wants to hold our internet hostage, we have to limit viewing.
Of course, during the day, it is hard to download much of anything anyway, since the internet is often much slower than dial-up.  This not only slows downloads that are for fun, but also makes it nearly impossible to access class materials.

It seems, from both experience and reading the FAQ on the bandwidth limitation, that the main problem with the internet here is the infrastructure is not good enough.  Penn State may be in a financial crunch right now, but with this infrastructure problem being the way it has been for years, there is no excuse that they couldn’t have already made upgrades.  Networking equipment has been cheap for years.

Penn State needs to get with the times and remove the bandwidth limitation.  If that involves upgrading existing infrastructure, so be it.  Come on Graham, our endowment may not be as big as it was a year ago, but spending a tiny fraction of it to better our internet service would be well worth it for anyone who lives on campus.  Until they do that, living on campus will always be less than ideal to me.  Please Penn State, free the internet!

Thanks for reading the first installment of State of Technology.  I promise that future installments will be less editorial and rant-like.

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Robert is a level 80 wizard who enjoys watching Korean Starcraft matches. He also likes to play the guitar and read about technology.


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