2013 Second Annual ACUTA State of ResNet Report

Lynn Russo Whylly's picture
Thursday, March 14, 2013

The 2013 ACUTA/NACUBO State of ResNet Report shows that while many campuses are rapidly adapting to meet ResNet challenges, there is still significant concern over the future of the residential network. In this second year of this study, we see the emergence of trends that may tell us a great deal about the trajectory of ResNet policies and perspectives nationwide.

[Overall], ResNet costs are outpacing budgets on most campuses:

  • 61% of respondents expect the cost of providing ResNet to increase over the next two years. Half of those respondents expect an increase of 5% or more.
  • Despite rising costs, 44% of schools reported no change in the portion of their operating budget devoted to ResNet over the last two years.
  • 10% reported a decrease in ResNet funding over the same period, while 31% reported an increase.
  • The top three factors attributed to increased spending are the cost of increasing bandwidth (72%), the cost of network hardware/software (63%) and the costs of providing new services to residents (50%).

Concerns about funding and demand on network support are rising sharply:

  • Funding for network support was a primary concern for 37% of respondents, rising from 23% in 2012.
  • Increasing demand on network support was a primary concern for 23% of respondents, rising from 16% in 2012.

Call center support is widely available, but 24/7 support is rare:

  • Most schools provide some form of network phone support (89%), but limit the hours that support is available.
  • Only 12% of campuses currently provide 24/7 network support.
  • Schools are leveraging economies-of-scale to lower costs.
  • Campuswide purchasing (51%), consortium purchasing (47%) and systemwide purchasing (26%) are the primary practices schools are using to reduce the cost of bandwidth.
  • 40% of campuses pay for ResNet bandwidth without recovering the cost, down from 48% last year.

More campuses are accommodating demand for unlimited mobility and bandwidth.

  • Unlimited mobile devices are allowed to connect to the network at 80% of campuses, rising from 68% last year.
  • Significantly more students have the option to pay for additional bandwidth, as the number of campuses providing bandwidth upgrades has nearly tripled since last year - rising from six to 16%.

While most schools are concerned about long-term viability, few have a plan for coming years.

  • 61% of those surveyed say they are either concerned or very concerned about the ability of their campus to support future ResNet demands.
  • 44% of campuses say they do not have a plan for ResNet growth in the years ahead, while 14% of all respondents are unsure.
  • Roughly one in three business officers say they are unsure whether their campus has a plan for coming years.

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