Bandwidth Reclamation Project Update

Here’s an update on our plan to close access to video streaming sites during the school day.

YouTubeBasically, our overall bandwidth use (of two T1 lines) during the day has dropped by 40-50%. This reduction was achieved by closing access to just five or six sites during school hours (Youtube, Yahoo Video, MSN Video, for example) as well as the iTunes Music Store. Other sites for streaming radio and content have been left open.

There were some complaints by students the first two days, but now we’re receiving praise from a larger number of students who have noticed the significant improvement in performance. The “happiest” person we’ve met so far is the Yearbook adviser. Jostens moved to an on-line yearbook creation toolset, and it was taking her students 5-10 minutes to upload the high resolution color images. Now it takes 30-60 seconds.

We noticed in Websense that there is an entire category of “bandwidth wasters” that can be blocked, and this includes all streaming video and audio sites. I’d rather not go this far, given what we’ve achieved by limiting access to just 5-6 sites. We have a “pass through” set up for faculty who what to use the sites for academic purposes.

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