Substantial Increases in Network Use and Capability
Peak Internet traffic on the URI network has more than doubled during the past year from 1.8 to 3.9 gigabits (Gb). Bandwidth consumption has been rapidly rising over the past ten years due to mobile device usage, social media, web based video, research data transfers, and cloud based applications (including email). The largest component of the latest increase is due largely to web based entertainment from applications like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube that fortunately peak at night.
The average peak number of devices on URI’s wireless network last fall was 11,000. With the semester less than a week old, that number is already at 13,000. In an effort to meet this demand and with funding from the Provost, ITS added more than 400 new wireless access points, bringing the total to over 2,000. In addition, 275 obsolete access points were replaced with higher performing new ones. ITS is also keeping access points in reserve in order to fill in trouble spots that occur over the semester. If you experience what you believe to be a lack of adequate wireless access points in a specific location on campus, please contact the Help Desk at 874-HELP (4357).
Also using funding provided by the Provost, ITS continues to expand and upgrade the network to accommodate this increased demand as well as expectation for fast connectivity to the Internet. Six routers, 120 switches, and two firewalls were installed to replace equipment that was not powerful enough to meet increasing demand. Most internal network equipment in communications closets was upgraded to increase connectivity to the core network tenfold, from 1 to 10Gb.
Although easily taken for granted, the URI network is one of the most critical infrastructure components at URI. All faculty, staff, and students depend on it for teaching and learning, research, administration and, for those living at URI, for entertainment, relaxation, and staying connected with loved ones and friends.