SDSU triples student network bandwidth, opens the road for more usage


South Dakota State University Information Technology Services tripled the student network’s bandwidth Saturday, Sept. 3, giving more resources to students on campus.

According to Ryan Knutson, assistant vice president for technology, the student network was significantly upgraded from 3.2 Gbps (gigabits per second) to 10 Gbps in order to accommodate the growing need of internet for students on campus.

Theoretically, an average household internet is about 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and it requires about 7 Mbps to stream high definition video content. A gigabit is equal to 1024 megabits.

A network bandwidth is determined by the amount of data (bit) it can transfer each second. In general, the faster the speed, the better the service.

On-campus internet service is provided by the Bureau of Technology, Knutson said. The system consists of two separate lines for students and research. Currently, the student network’s bandwidth is 3.2 Gbps and the research network has 10Gbps.

The internet was down on Saturday from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.

“We’re gonna have a lot of overhead for academic surfing or netflix or youtube or whatever it uses,” Knutson said.

In the past, there were times when video streaming services such as YouTube or Netflix took up a major portion of the student network’s bandwidth. However, technical modifications were made to get rid of the problem, Knutson said. The technicians re-routed the video streaming traffic through the research network’s bandwidth.

Those services only occupy half of that allotted bandwidth.

In case of a bandwidth overload, buffering will occur. The video will pause until the data is sufficiently gathered and then continue streaming.

Zach Louwagie, freshman in agricultural systems technology, spends three hours per night watching videos. “I feel it’s pretty good overall,” Lowagie said.

Ashton Knapp, freshman pre-nursing major, lives in Hyde and enjoys watching videos on her computer and phone everyday. She often does so after 2 p.m. However, there seems to be some problems with her phone’s connection.

“For the wifi, my computer works. For my phone, it doesn’t work for anything, like even Snapchat,” Knapp said. “When I use the wifi, it’s slow.”

The upgrade will significantly improve the student network, according to Knutson. With the redirection still being placed on the research network, students should not suffer from bandwidth overload.

“We shouldn’t have any bandwidth issues for quite sometime,” Knutson said.