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New Internet service contracts increase bandwidth, reduce service interruptions

Information Technology Services has signed contracts with two new Internet providers in a deal that creates dual Internet connections and should help reduce interruptions in service. ITS also has increased WVU’s bandwidth capacity from 3.75 Gigabits per second (Gbps) this past summer to 5 Gbps.

As WVU becomes increasingly reliant on cloud services, the contracts with Comcast and Frontier give WVU additional bandwidth and critical redundancy, or protective backup service, in the event of a network failure. Each provider will connect to WVU’s network in a different building to add geographic redundancy, meaning if one location has trouble, another should be available. This redundancy will also give ITS the ability to do maintenance on one connection without loss of Internet service.

In the first year of the five-year contract, ITS anticipates $388,000 in cost reductions and costs avoided. The first year’s savings are being reinvested in the network infrastructure to create the dual Internet connections. Savings in subsequent years will need to be reinvested in additional bandwidth.

The new contracts also mean $35,000 in annual savings for Metro Ethernet connections to the divisional campuses. However, these savings are being reinvested in additional bandwidth and redundant connections to the divisional campuses.

Students are learning and communicating in new ways, and faculty are embracing new teaching and research tools. With more than 50,000 devices connecting to the network every day, ITS is planning for an anticipated doubling of demand to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) by the end of 2017. To learn more about how students use the Internet, click here.