IT speeds up Net surfing

By Autumn Keiss

A campus starved for Internet connectivity has been fed.

On Feb. 11, Olivet’s bandwidth was doubled, greatly increasing Internet connectivity.

Bandwidth is what controls the amount of information accessible from the Internet.

“Bandwidth is like a pipe,” Jeffrey Rice, Information Technology (IT) network manager, said. “The larger the pipe, the more things can flow through.”

The average home high-speed Internet connection is only three to four megabytes.

Olivet’s bandwidth, on the other hand, doubled from 100 megabytes to 200 megabytes, Rice said. The upgrade will allow for better video streaming and more web-page views.

“Anything Internet-based is going to have a bigger portion of the pipe,” said Jacob Garrett, IT network security engineer.

Once the upgrade took place, the use of bandwidth immediately increased by 50 percent, he added.

Rice said Olivet’s Internet had needed improvement for a while.

“The campus was starved for bandwidth,” he said. “We had reached a max, and were using 98 percent of our bandwidth.”

IT placed an order for the upgrade with Olivet’s Internet service provider, AT&T, in September.

“We’ve been ready for five months,” Rice said. “But AT&T had to do some things before we could upgrade.”

Olivet has been doubling its bandwidth about every two years.

But despite the most recent upgrade, students have not seen any obvious changes with Internet connectivity.

“I’m happy that they’ve upgraded it,” sophomore Hannah Schmidt said. “But I haven’t really seen a difference.”

Sophomore Geoff Graham also said that he hadn’t noticed a change.

Students who have not seen a difference also complained about their Internet connections.

 “Students complain about speed, and say their Internet is faster at home,” Rice said. “The important thing to realize is that at home, three to four megabytes is dedicated to one or two computers. Here, we now have 200 megabytes for 2,500 to 3,000 computers.”

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