Bandwidth Policy for Student Residence Halls

Bandwidth refers to the size and speed of the connection between the UNM network and student residential housing. This bandwidth is used to send information out from your computer (upload) or to receive information into your computer (download). The residence buildings are connected by what is known as switched 10/100.

While each room has its own connection, the information entering or leaving the room must share bandwidth with the entire campus. It clearly would not require many students, each using tens of megabits, to make the 100 Mbps connection useless. This means that individual users can affect performance and quality of the network and by using an inappropriate share of the available bandwidth, degrade the experience for everyone.

To ensure that this does not occur, IT measures the amount of information that individual computers transfer on the network and if that amount is considered to be inordinately large, bandwidth restrictions may be imposed on the individual network port. For the purpose of this policy, inordinately is defined as traffic exceeding 10 percent of the University's Internet bandwidth.

Note: IT measures only the amount of bandwidth being used, not the content.

It is necessary to impose these restrictions to prevent individual people from using a disproportionate share of available bandwidth.

What kinds of activities might people engage in that would cause this to occur? While normal and expected academic work, including Web surfing, could use an unusually high share of network bandwidth, this is normally not the case.

The following are examples of activities that do result in high bandwidth use and should be limited or eliminated:

  • Computers that act as Web servers and distribute large data files, usually video, music and games.

  • Routinely change your password(s). Be sure to update your desktop computer's operating system and install the latest security patches; otherwise your computer could be compromised and used as a file server without your knowledge.

  • Copyright violations.

  • Not using antivirus software to ensure that others cannot remotely access your computer and use it without your knowledge.

  • Using your network connection for commercial purposes or charging for a service or product is never permitted.

  • Web cams, especially leaving them on unattended

Students living in residence halls are, for all intents and purposes, "home;" it is not IT's objective to prevent recreational use of the Internet from home. However, it is not feasible to permit the indefinite and disproportionate use of the entire network bandwidth by a relatively small percentage of the campus community.

IT is committed to providing the necessary bandwidth to carry out the education, research and public service missions of the university. This may require IT to implement bandwidth limitations or take further steps.

IT reserves the right to temporarily terminate a network connection in cases where someone is seriously degrading network performance. Please refer to the UNM Network Policy.

Accordingly, the following procedures will be implemented:

1. Each residence hall's port use of the network will be continuously measured.

2. If an individual port's use within any one week exceeds by 10 percent that of the University's Internet bandwidth, the associated student will be notified and will have their bandwidth restricted.

3. Continued violations of bandwidth limits may result in permanent restrictions.

IT reserves the right to modify this policy as conditions warrant.