Over the course of the semester, Berea College has experienced severe Internet issues. Students and Faculty across the campus have struggled to access the net, enduring connections “slower than Dial-Up”. The talk of the town is that the poor service has been caused by two snowstorms, and a fire. The truth of the matter is that our behavior could be behind the faulty internet. While Berea has been steadily expanding in size (number of students) over the past few years, the internet budget has not expanded to accommodate the students. Due to this, Berea has been operating at 100% of its bandwidth capacity at almost all hours of the day, only dropping off at around 2:30 Am.
For a moment, imagine that the bandwidth capacity is represented by a tube. The water flowing through it is Data. Berea’s internet is a small tube that is completely overtaken by expelled water. It can not possibly release more water because it is at 100 % capacity. The obvious fix to this problem would be to by a bigger tube (increase our bandwidth). However, this is an expensive and perhaps temporary solution. As Berea increases in size, this problem will continue to repeat itself. There is another fix, although much more difficult and trying; reducing our Internet usage.
The Behavior Change
While most classes do require the internet, we also consume this resource in our downtime. Popular data eaters such as Netflix, and Youtube are part of our daily lives. In order to change our behaviors, we must change as a society. I understand that it is winter, and too cold to do anything outside, but a poker tournament with 10 players is a healthy alternate to 10 separate instances of Netflix.
It will be difficult to convince people that their single behavior is part of the problem, mostly because students believe that the Internet is owed to them, and their downtime is their personal business. However, if we band together to combat this issue, we can at least reduce the usage of the internet, and in the words of Matt Jadud, “We can change the world”.