Students Should See Faster Download Speeds
With the return of students on Skidmore’s campus comes the usual routines of carrying fridges up countless flights of stairs and bickering with parents that will soon be missed, but as things start to settle down, the first thing that students often do is attempt to connect to the internet in their new rooms. Unlike past years, the process of connecting to the Internet takes significantly longer due to the new provider that Skidmore is using, Apogee, which requires students to first make an account and register their devices before connecting. The old provider, Time Warner Cable, did not require this process.
This past August, Skidmore’s five-year contract with Time Warner Cable ended so Skidmore began “the process to re-evaluate our residential network services provider,” said William Duffy, Chief Technology Officer. At the end of the “review, we selected Apogee, a company that exclusively provides network and cable services to higher education resident students” said Duffy.
The main advantage with the new WiFi is its new and improved speed. . For the free WiFi from Apogee, each student can register “up to five devices and each device gets 20 Mb download speeds” said Duffy. The download speeds on the old provider were closer to 2 Mb. Last Wednesday, September 7th, they tested the speed in six Residence Halls and found that they were getting 20-25 Mb Speed, which is in line with Apogee’s guarantees. “Service from the new firm overall has been much improved over the prior vendor,” said Duffy.
To put this Mb speed in perspective, Netflix stated that the bandwidth necessary to stream a movie in HD is 4 Mb. With the old server, students received half of this speed, which is hardly enough to stream content. Now, with the new provider, Skidmore students are getting five times as much bandwidth. If this still is not enough for a student, individuals have the option of purchasing an upgraded WiFi package that provides a 40 Mb download speed, increasing the already vastly improved connection to a total of ten times better than it was last year.
Even though Apogee is providing much better service to students Duffy said that“Overall net operating costs are estimated to be substantially the same.” Duffy declined to share more on the cost of the switch because he said it was college policy not to disclose this information.
Hopefully, the WiFi will continue to run at this high speed. If not, the students should reach out to Apogee. There is an Apogee technician who “has an office on this campus and if needed, can usually make an appointment for the same day” said Duffy.