ITS speeds up campus internet

By Andrew Guyton

Macalester’s internet bandwidth increased from 42 megabits per second to 100 per second on Sept. 30. This represents a much-needed increase in network capacity, Information Technology Services assistant director Ted Fines said.”Before we received this additional bandwidth, our connection was at full capacity almost all the time,” Fines said. “The connection speed was bottlenecked on our end, which meant that our users-students, faculty and administrators-weren’t connecting as fast as they could have.

“Since we made the change, though, average use is holding right around 70 megabits per second, which means that we now have some breathing room,” Fines added.

In addition to receiving more speed, Macalester now pays less for its internet connection.

“This project has been years in the making,” Fines said. “We pooled our network buying power with that of other area schools, and, in effect, we placed a bulk order.”

To make this change, Macalester also switched internet providers to TIES Internet Services, a Minnesota organization designed to provide technology resources to educational institutions. Macalester made this switch along with Bethel University, the University of St. Thomas, Northwestern College (Minn.), Luther Seminary, Concordia University (St. Paul), St. Olaf College, Carleton College, and the College of St. Catherine.

As more and more students use the internet to access video content, it remains to be seen how long this extra bandwidth can keep pace with the constantly increasing demand. For the foreseeable future, though, Macalester now has enough, according to Fines.