Residence halls may see increase in Internet bandwidth

The Information Technology department is trying to raise funds to expand the bandwidth of the NKU residential village’s Internet connection.

Doug Wells, the director of infrastructure at NKU, said there are plans to expand the village’s Internet connection bandwidth from 200MB to 300MB. Internet bandwidth is the amount of data that can be carried over at a single point of time.

He said the village’s connection peaks fairly often and that its main peak times are between 8-10 p.m. every night. During those peak times, students often experience slower Internet response times because of the influx of devices connected to the village’s Internet.

According to Wells, NKU has three main Internet connections. Insight provides NKU’s Internet one connection, which is the main connection to the buildings on campus. Kypen Internet two is also used in the buildings and serves as backup. Cincinnati Bell provides the Internet connection to the village.

NKU’s Internet one and two connections have a bandwidth of 600MB and 1GB, respectively.
According to Wells, the Insight connection was expanded over the 2012-13 winter break from 200MB to 600MB.

He said that what many students think is slow Internet is more likely to be a connection problem.

“The Internet on campus makes me want to cry sometimes,” said David Tucker, a junior computer information technology major.

“To you it might look like slow Internet, but really it could be a problem connecting from the access point to the network switch, or the switch to the core,” Wells said. “There’s several places where the problem’s going to be happening for slow Internet.”

According to Wells, too many devices connected to a single access point can also cause the Internet to come to a crawl.

“Access points can handle 20 devices, the more that are connected to a single access point, the slower the Internet gets,” Wells said.

There are approximately 823 access points on campus and 244 in the village, according to Wells. Access points emit a frequency that computers use to connect to them.

Wells said that too many in the same place can lead to access points interfering with one another which can also cause the Internet to seem slow. The best example of this at NKU is in Griffin Hall, according to Wells.