How much bandwidth is required?

Activision Guitar hero world tour deluxe...
September 15, 2009 at 12:19:50
Specs: Windows 7, Windows XP Pro
I am a college student at Rutgers University
New Brunswick. Due to the
overwhelming students needing housing they
decided to partner with a nearby
hotel to house them in. There are about 500
students living in the hotel plus
whatever guests who are staying in the hotel.

The problem is the internet is so damn slow.
speedtest.net gives me on an
average 0.28 Mb/s download and upload
speed. During the day the ping is about
40ms and after 5pm it shoots up to 340ms. I
am guessing they cap everyones
connection at 0.30Mb/s because I have never
seen it go higher than that.

A bunch of students including my self have
been complaining on weekly basis to
do something about the internet. First they
said they were going to "add more
access points". Then they enabled OpenDNS.
Now they just say they are
working hard on the problem.

My question is how hard is it increase the
internet speed? Is it just a matter of
money? Do they just have to make a phone
call to their ISP and say give me
more bandwidth? Or are is it a more
complicated problem that requires them to
change there whole infrastructure? I am fairly
knowledgeable with computers and
to me it's just sounds like they have their
thumbs up their asses. If someone
could shed a little light on the matter I would
greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,
Ryan


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#1
September 15, 2009 at 12:24:31
ask them what speeds are they paying their isp for.

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#2
September 15, 2009 at 13:14:13
First off, this is wireless and wireless is inherently a pain in the you-know-what which is why people like me don't care for it too much (just FYI, I'm a network technician - give me a wired solution any day!).

Second, even with a wired connection, when you split however much bandwidth (and I'd wager it isn't a whole lot) between the number of college kids as well as guests, you have in that hotel well, nobody is going to get much.

Adding more AP's won't help. At least, extra AP's won't help with bandwidth issues. All that can help with is signal strength issues. So they're wasting their time and $$$ if they think adding more AP's will help with increasing bandwidth.

You can't increase "speed". You can however increase bandwidth. Thinking of bandwidth in terms of speed like mph or kmh is a common misconception. Google "bandwidth" for a clear definition of what it is. It isn't "speed".

Now, having said that...

How hard it is to upgrade the bandwidth depends on what the hotel already has and what the provider offers.

If the ISP only has 1.5 Mbps connection rate available and the hotel already has that, then it's harder than if the provider also has 3, 5, and 10 Mbps packages available..

If the provider has bigger packages available then it's a case of a phone call, more $$$ and likely a new modem.

If they only have 1.5 Mbps available then the hotel could increase bandwidth by say, getting a separate connection for ever X users (X = the number of user's per 1.5 Mbps connection that doesn't saturate the segment to the point everybody grinds to a halt). Of course this method would also require more work and someone with my skill set to make it so (ergo, a LOT more $$$ cause I don't come cheap brother).

If they're using wireless this means they really wouldn't have to change much in their infrastructure. But, it would require some physical changes to accommodate more external (internet) connections. Upgrading to a bigger bandwidth package wouldn't require any.


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#3
September 15, 2009 at 13:27:54
Great reply, thanks. Money should be no object. All the
students in the hotel are paying $3,800 per semester
($1,900,000). They should be able to upgrade by any means
necessary.

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#4
September 15, 2009 at 14:01:54
I was under the impression this was in a hotel near your college.

Due to the overwhelming students needing housing they decided to partner with a nearby hotel to house them in. There are about 500 students living in the hotel plus whatever guests who are staying in the hotel.

If that's the case it will be up to the hotel, not the college, to upgrade the hotel's internet connection. The college may be able to ask them to upgrade but, being in partnership isn't the same thing as being a partner.

It's definitely worth a try though as your present bandwidth sucks badly enough you might as well all be using dialup. Perhaps if you put it to the college nicely, they might be willing to provide the necessary expertise and some, if not all, the money to accomplish the upgrade.


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#5
September 15, 2009 at 14:16:13
Yea, true I guess it would be up to the hotel. However, the hotel
seems to accommodate us in every other way. I am not sure of
the logistics of the relationship between the hotel and the
University. All I know is that University needed the hotel for
housing and the hotel desperately needed the University for
money due to the recession.

One week ago I got an e-mail saying they were upgrading the
bandwidth. I was just curious to how long that takes.


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#6
September 28, 2009 at 21:40:52
This is an update. Below is an e-mail I received Residence Life Coordinator about the internet situation. Any comments, suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.

(There are about 500 students living in the hotel plus some guests from time to
time.)

Internet Situation:

I recently talked to the owners of the hotel and they gave me the following
information:

They have consulted with 3 individual providers to determine the root cause
and implement the necessary changes to their infrastructure for higher
availability of wireless internet access for the students living at the
Crowne Plaza. These 3 consultants came up with the same information:

1) While the total bandwidth currently available at the Crowne Plaza is
adequate to service all internet "web surfing" and email, it is not
sufficient for the peak usage times when all students are using the internet
at the same time.

2) A few of the existing access points that provide Wi-Fe service are
outdated and are not emitting signal strong enough to sustain prolonged
sessions. This is why the connection sometimes drops for some of you and
why sometimes you can't get a new connection. There are 3 to 4 "dead spots"
where wireless internet connection is very poor or sometimes not available.

3) There are too many individual user sessions that are excessively
"hogging" bandwidth. This results from VERY large size files that are
uploaded and downloaded such as movies, gamine applications or internet
television and/or multi-user gaming.

That being said, many students have written me about the hotel not having
high speed internet. The hotel DOES have high speed internet; however it
wasn't meant for the amount of usage and the type of things students are
using the internet for (downloading large files, gaming, etc).

I know that this is a frustrating situation for all of you as many of you
just want the internet to work for your academic needs. I can assure you
that the hotel is working on this. They have either already completed or
will complete the following actions to address the above identified
problems:

1) Bandwidth Issue: Before you all got here, the hotel was running on a
bandwidth of 3mbps (megabits per second). This was sufficient for the amount
of users (some hotel guests on the internet at different times) and the type
of usage they had before (web browsing and email). They knew that this would
not be sufficient for students so they doubled it from 3mbps to 6mbps.
Crowne Plaza currently have several T1 lines totaling 6mbps. The hotel
ordered several more T1 lines that will increase the bandwidth to 12mbps
back in August and is waiting for the shipment. This might have happened
already or will happen within days. I should know by tomorrow. They are also
looking into increasing the bandwidth to between 21 and 4 mbps. This project
will take several weeks.

2) Signal Strength: They have been working on replacing problematic
access points with new and improved access points to address the "dead spot"
situation. This should be completed within days.

3) The hotel has also implemented a 256kbps (kilobits per second) limit
per user session. This will ensure that a limited amount of users cannot
control the whole bandwidth, preventing others from getting on it. It is
more than adequate for email and casual research type web surfing, as well
as downloading everyday documents such as MS Excel, MS word, PowerPoint,
PDF
docs, etc.


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#7
September 29, 2009 at 05:16:30
Good news!

When I read the following:

3) There are too many individual user sessions that are excessively
"hogging" bandwidth. This results from VERY large size files that are
uploaded and downloaded such as movies, gamine applications or internet
television and/or multi-user gaming.

I was sure that would be the biggest issue. I see they're limiting the amount of bandwidth so now the only people who will be complaining will be the bandwidth hogs who were making it miserable for everyone else in the first place....LOL


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