« Netflix Licenses House of Cards for Late 2012 Exclusive Streaming | Main | Netflix New Releases for March 22nd, 2011 »



Netflix Canada has an option to use lower quality streams to reduce bandwidth, it'd be nice if net admins could contact them and get that flag turned on for anyone using their network.

I suggest they call and see what can be done.


Why not restrict Netflix data to a low Quality of Service (QoS) router class?
Then when there is too much data for the pipe, high QoS classes go first, medium QoS second, and low (Netflix) QoS classes go last (if there is room).
The students will have to deal with more buffering screens, but...
Or, you could separate you academic net from your residential net.

David W

@ bonzo-
Or they could follow U Texas' lead and limit bandwidth to 500mb at a time in the dorms. then 3 hour wait, then 500 more. F***ing blows. They have one of the fastest networks in the Academic sector (I have seen speeds of near 1 gbps in the research labs) but it seems this is because they limit student resident usage

Matt Lafferty

This is a huge upcoming issue. Since AOL went to $20/month for unlimited Internet in the mid 90s, "all you can eat" (so to speak) has been the industry norm. Now, whether it's Ohio, Comcast, AT&T, the pipeline is being tweaked. My fear is that the tweak will move further down, particularly as online entertainment overtakes cable TV.


Would would you rather they do? Download Netflix, or torrents? Your call Ohio U.


@ Matt

Err, universities have almost always had unlimited internet. That was one of the major benefits for techies of going to university.

Keep in mind that someone attending Ohio University pays anywhere between $2-4k a semester in tuition and another $1-2k a semester in housing. They could easily upgrade the network or apply a QoS to Netflix (or easily upgrade the network) or throttle bandwidth to an acceptable level at peak times (or easily upgrade the network) or utilize any of the various tactics for managing a large high-traffic network (like easily upgrading the network). Separating the public network from the academic one, as bonzo suggested, would also be of priority for anyone competent in IT, but this is a public university in Ohio so I am not sure they exactly attract Silicon Valley-level smarts.

The tweak is bullshit in all of its forms and especially on university campuses. Like corporations, the big business profit driven executives at universities - public and private alike - are seeking every way to minimize cost and maximize profit potential. One way is by not maintaining a robust network. Another is by diverting a hundred million dollars away from academic programs to build a new football stadium and sports complex.




If Ohio University is not using a robust QoS solution such as is available from Allot or Packeteer (BlueCoat) they have larger problems then students using Netflix.

Or I suppose they could have a QoS solution in place but are not prioritizing properly.


Why not have Neflix install a server inside the university network? Move everything around at 100 mbs as opposed to using the internet?


Any of you guys work for universities' IT departments? I am curious to see what others are doing with these Internet usages. Our university Internet stats indicate the exact same results. Netflix uses more bandwidth than any other online service or website.


"Any of you guys work for universities' IT departments?" @Chris

I'm a DBA at a mid-major NCAA Div I university and forwarded this article to our network director. He said we experience the same activity but our bandwidth is wide enough to support our residence hall capacity. Thankfully, our on-campus housing ratio is not as large as typical major institutions.

Also a note for those reading this OP, all university's have to be very aware of the network traffic because the MPAA/IRAA do and will come knocking on their door when registered students decide to participate in inappropriate fileshares and downloads in addition to virus, spam and other nefarious activities.


If a university is having such terrible bandwidth problems, why don't they
a. separate the residential buildings' connection from the rest of campus so that they don't share the same pipe to the outside world
b. outsource the residential buildings' Internet connections to the local ISPs. You never hear about apartment buildings having bandwidth issues because everybody's watching Netflix.



Keep in mind that OU isn't on semesters, they run on quarters. And the numbers you provide don't mean anything without how much everything else costs the university. Not all the tuition/housing costs are available to the IT departments budget as you seem loosely assume. The IT department has a budget and they have to live within that until the next year where they can try to justify additional money/improvements.


Good point on campus living. OU for instance requires 2 years on campus living, there are exceptions to that rule however.


@David W

Texas University may be using Internet 2 this would be why they are having speeds into the Ghz per second verses the mhz. Just a thought.


At the university I went to, I was off campus before Netflix began streaming (Fall '05 - Spring '06). But I do remember Bittorrent traffic on the school network being completely killed unless you encrypted your bittorrent traffic. And since it was a private and religious university, porn viewing had to be done through a proxy server. Unfortunately, the webfilter had a pretty liberal view of what porn was and a lot of humor sites got blocked as well.

I probably learned more by figuring out how to circumvent that networks security than I did in my classes in that first year.


@ Rob

That's the same bloody thing. They have three quarters in a year. That equates to three semesters. Same as any other university.

Further, don't fucking assume what I am or am not saying. My point was that universities make money hand over fist, most often at the expense of the academic and arts programs that originally made them household names, and that they can easily afford to (1) upgrade the network and (2) upgrade the network. They don't, though, and it's not out of any monetary concern in these oh-so-harsh-times, it's because most universities are run by business graduate executive dipshits who want to wring every last cent of profit out of the system that they can while being grossly overpaid for the shite-ass job they're doing.

When you factor in housing costs, which are another major profit factor for universities, it becomes clear that it is willful mismanagement that is causing university networks to go all ass over tit. That's it. Nothing else. In the 90s you had tech-aware students plugging their own servers into the server rooms, with full blessing of IT, and running bandwidth-intensive games or the like off of them and the networks could easily handle it, just like they can and do easily handle modern bandwidth-intensive operations now. Except when, you know, IT isn't given the autonomy or budget to do their job.

The common scapegoat for corporate America and the university system regarding internet usage is now video streaming. Previously it was torrents. Before that, Napster. Before that, internal file sharing. And so on and so forth. And that's exactly what it is, a scapegoat, because no properly designed and maintained network falls over in the execution of its intended operation. Only shite ones do. Shite ones at universities that value football over academia. Shite ones at universities run by soulless MBA program-loving lib arts-hating most likely Republican douchebags that like to talk tough on things like binge drinking and sexual promiscuity but refuse to acknowledge the alternative, most likely because they hate them, of having a healthy, cultured student body that enjoys film, live music, scholarly debate and pseudo-illegal things like torrenting and hacking. I guess understanding that students want to blow off steam by watching movies on Netflix during one of the most hellish weeks of their academic careers is just a bit too sympathetic of an idea for these fucking robots.

Moreover, are these universities REALLY complaining about students using Netflix when (as I stated above) the most common alternative is binge drinking? REALLY?

Oh, wait, it's Ohio University, a college no one cares about and no one's ever heard of. Guess they subscribe to the "no such thing as bad publicity" mentality.


Netflix critic

"What will the do when more titles go HD?"

who cares, nobody now at the university will still be there by the time more HD is available?

The comments to this entry are closed.


Third-Party Netflix Sites