IT Department to Upgrade Streaming Services


Rachel Salvetti

IT staff members Ranata De Gennaro (left) and Kassandra Neff work in the Noreen Falcone library.

Beginning next semester, the Le Moyne internet network will have a dedicated bandwidth for recreational streaming activities like Netflix, YouTube, and HBO.

Streaming activities use approximately three-quarters of the one gigabit of data Le Moyne has available, according to the device that monitors internet traffic and usage.

“It’s an important aspect of the life of all of our students, so it’s a matter of, how do we make sure that we accommodate that as effectively as possible?” said Shaun Black, Senior Director of IT.

This upgrade was possible because Le Moyne is a member of NYSERNet, the New York State Education Research Network. Through its NYSERNet membership, Le Moyne will be able to receive direct access to all the major streaming services, like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, and Google, according to Black. “It will be almost like Le Moyne having a direct connection to them,” Black said.

This improvement was offered by NYSERNet at a favorable time for the college when existing hardware already needed to be replaced, and the IT department was anticipating increasing the bandwidth, Black said.

“We already knew that we were needing to make some kind of a changed increase [to the] internet bandwidth and this provided a really good opportunity to do that in a better way than we would normally have done,” Black said.

The upgrading process has been progressing since last fall when NYSERNet first notified the IT department about this service. The improvements don’t immediately require additional expenditures for the college because IT funds saved in other areas are being reallocated for this internet improvement, but it is expected to have an increased cost in the coming years. The IT department does not yet know how much maintaining the improved network will increase costs for the college because of the ever-changing cost of technology maintenance.

Separating streaming activities from other internet use will result in increased internet speed for all network users. Black expects that the new streaming connection will be even faster than the one reserved for web browsing. Internet capacity and capabilities will also increase, with the improvements more than doubling the internet bandwidth available to the college, according to Black.

These will be important improvements for students who experience difficulties when using streaming services on campus.

Hailey Oliver, a resident of the Heights, uses a smart TV to watch Netflix and HBO with friends. “We have to wait like ten minutes for the TV to connect to the Wi-Fi,” she said.

Sophomore Kassandra Neff said, “I plug in to watch Netflix. I use my Ethernet cable. My roommate uses the Wi-Fi to watch movies, but she doesn’t put in full screen.”

Black also expects the network to allow students to watch Netflix and other streaming services in ultra HD and 4K after the update is complete. “In a very cost-effective manner it will allow us to provide additional capacity for recreational [streaming], but it’s also going to free up a lot of capacity for other administrative and academic activities,” Black said.

The IT staff will complete the change over winter break, in order to have it ready when students return for the spring semester. Black anticipates little to no interruption in internet services, but the change was scheduled for the break in case there are any unforeseen problems.