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Purdue mulls policy to limit WIFI access on campus

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University officials are studying whether the school needs a policy limiting the campus’ WIFI access for students to browse gaming sites, social media and other non-academic material while classes are in session.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels recently began speaking with faculty members about whether limits on WIFI access are needed in light of a study showing that the biggest broadband consumption on Purdue’s network was going to gaming sites, streamed music and assorted video providers, the Journal & Courier reported.

“I think it’s fair to say that probably, somewhere buried in there, there’s some academic work happening,” Daniels told faculty members in February.

Daniels said the study’s data also includes broadband use in two of the university’s largest classrooms, where bandwidth is at a premium due to the number of devices used.

“I’m delighted for Purdue to provide this free service for anything even remotely academic,” Daniels said. “But when it’s purely recreational, especially during class hours, I think it raises some questions. . If this keeps growing and growing, we’re going to have to think about other things.”

The study also found that the school’s broadband costs are now five times what they were in 2013.

Deputy Chief Information Officer Julie Kercher-Updike said the university began offering expanded WIFI in 2007. She said at the time the West Lafayette campus had 1,200 access points. Today, the campus has more than 10,000 access points.