Trendspotter

A Growth Spurt of Wireless and Bandwidth

A recent survey of private colleges suggests that these schools are rapidly deploying wireless networks and increasing bandwidth on their campuses.

Wireless is a top priority among private four-year college IT leaders, according to a recent survey by Xwires Communications, formerly X-Wires Broadband, a newly acquired division of satellite cable television and telecommunication services provider Campus Televideo.

The study further suggests that these same colleges are growing their bandwidth at accelerated rates.

The survey, conducted in early 2010, queried 1,443 IT professionals at private four-year colleges on a range of technology topics. About 10 percent, or 142 people, participated (including IT professionals from four small public universities). While that number of respondents represents less than 10 percent of all private four-year schools, the data may be suggestive of trends across the larger universe of private four-year higher learning institutions.

In its second year, the survey found that wireless deployment continues to be a top priority among private college IT professionals, second only to network integrity/virus protection (in 2010 receiving scores of 4.19 and 4.33, respectively, on a five-point scale; results from 2009 were about the same). Wireless has become pervasive at many respondents’ campuses, and deployments continue to expand (see chart below).

According to survey participants, bandwidth is also increasing rapidly on private college campuses. More than 88 percent of respondents said they have added bandwidth within the previous two years, and more than half (52 percent) reported adding 46 Mbps or more within the past year.

“Reacting to accelerating demand, private colleges are adding new bandwidth at a very high rate,” the report authors conclude. Furthermore, they say, “The study confirm[s] the importance of wireless networks. Today’s students expect high-tech environments and colleges are aggressively meeting that expectation.”

A free copy of the report is available to school faculty and staff by contacting Rick Nixon, director of sales and marketing at Campus Televideo, at 203-983-5400 x119 or rnixon@campustelevideo.com.

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