Internet capacity surges ahead

Dec. 11, 2012

Recent upgrades have boosted the college’s access to the Internet tenfold, pushing its bandwidth among the top private institutions in the state.

College access now stands at 100 megabits per second, a pipeline shared for both academic and students’ personal computing needs.

“We tripled our bandwidth back in the spring, then moved up to the current level with upgrades we completed this fall,” said Director of Information Technology James Blackwood.

“Right now we’re peaking at about 60 percent of capacity, so we have some room to grow.”

For academic computing, the change has been a welcome one, according to Associate Professor of Music Dr. Mitch Turner.

“In the old days, when we were trying to stream large video or audio files, it would play for five seconds and stop,” he said, making it difficult when he wanted to show a video of Bernstein conducting Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, for instance.

“Since the upgrade, I haven’t run into any problems at all. I’m delighted.”    
For students, the recent upgrades combined with a software change create a more pleasant and productive computing experience, according to Vice President for Finance and Operations Marty Pirrman.

Student email accounts have been migrated to Google Apps for Education, which provides a more secure email environment and allows for interface with the Google suite of applications.

“The shift to Google Apps allows our students to have access to their documents wherever they have an Internet access,” he said. “Combined with the bandwidth upgrades, the changes make for a significantly enhanced online experience on campus.”

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