U. of Texas Austin Delays Plans to Charge for Internet Access
Last Wednesday, the University of Texas at Austin announced that it created fast and slow lanes of internet access, splitting its network into “first-class” and “second class” service. At the beginning of the week, students and faculty would all have “first-class” access until they exceeded their bandwidth allotment, at which point they would be stuck on the “second-class” network unless they purchased more bandwidth. By late Friday, the plan was put on hold.
Under the policy, students living off campus—who previously received a complimentary 500MB of bandwidth—would be under the second-class network unless they purchased a data plan. In comparison, students living on campus would have access to the residential network which includes a data plan of 10GB a week. Faculty members enjoy 500GB of free bandwidth a week, while full-time staffers receive 50GB per week.
As access to the internet becomes more and more a necessity rather than a luxury, college and university IT infrastructures are struggling to keep up with the demand. Still, while the plan infringes on “net neutrality” at least one student says buying access through the university is still much cheaper than buying the same quality of service at home.
For full story, see Inside Higher Ed.
Yvonne is a writer for Edtech Times who is most interested in technology's role in culture. When she is not combing the web for the latest in educational technology, she is reading classic literature or watching the game on TV. You may know her from Gradeable, Boston.com, Emerson College, Busa Wine & Spirits, UMass Dartmouth, or Burlington High School.