Internet speeds up

Jason Mann

Jason Mann

On-campus Internet users noticed an increase in Internet speed on April 1 after the school increased bandwidth by 38 megahertz per second.

Michael Adelaine, vice president for information technology, said bandwidth increased from 62 MHz to 100 MHz, which substantially increased Internet speed for computers hardwired to the network. He compared campus bandwidth to a water pipe; the more water flows through the pipe, the slower that water flows. Bandwidth works the same way-the more people who use the Internet on campus, the slower the Internet works. Adelaine said he tries to “grow” the bandwidth as use of the system increases in order to stay ahead. Another bandwidth growth is planned for this fall.

“We increase bandwidth as we can,” said Adelaine.

Wireless users will not experience an increase in Internet speed. Currently, wireless users share 54 MHz on each access point. As more users share an access point, the slower the Internet will run for everyone on that point.

Bandwidth grows at a much slower rate for wireless users because SDSU is in the process of switching wireless systems. New wireless technology has been introduced to the school, but specifications have not been decided yet. Adelaine expects this new wireless technology to be in place in one and a half years. Because of the anticipated improvements, he’s avoiding increasing the wireless bandwidth in order to keep costs down.

Those who use the open-wireless system that is in place at The Union won’t see bandwidth growth. Adelaine says that the school has to keep all open-wireless systems “choked down” because of a government act called CALEA.

The school avoids compliance with the act by keeping open-wireless bandwidth at 5 MHz, and only allowing users to use their browser. This protects student privacy. If the school was CALEA-compliant, government agencies could potentially wiretap students’ computers.