University News

uTech Announces 73 Percent Increase in Bandwidth

November 28, 2011

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- A 73 percent increase in Internet bandwidth at Western Illinois University will be in place by Dec. 1.

University Technology (uTech), which operates Western Illinois University's computer and communications networks, will increase the available Internet bandwidth for Western's academic and administrative networks from 125 Mbps to 225 Mbps (Megabit per second); the bandwidth for residence halls (ResNet) from 165 Mbps to 265 Mbps; and the bandwidth for the Quad Cities campuses from 19 to 45 Mbps to improve the speed of Internet access on Western's campuses, according to Joe Rives, vice president for Quad Cities, Technology and Planning. Rives noted that funding the increases for the Quad Cities campuses and the academic and administrative networks are made possible due to an internal reallocation. Student fees available for projects that support on-campus housing fund the ResNet bandwidth increase.

In January 2011, University Technology (uTech) increased the available Internet bandwidth for Western's academic and administrative networks by 47 percent or 40 Mbps (Megabit per second) from 85 Mbps to 125 Mbps to improve the speed of Internet access on Western's academic and administrative systems, and in November 2010, Internet bandwidth in the residence halls was increased 43 percent from 115 Mbps (Megabit per second) to 165 Mbps.

"As our Internet network traffic continues to increase, it's imperative that we move forward with our plans for adding more bandwidth to support our users' needs and expectations," Rives added. "As the demand for Internet bandwidth continues to grow, the need for increased service has become even more necessary."

In addition to the bandwidth increases, a new network is being created between the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses that will improve the speed and reliability of the Internet traffic. The new 100 Mbps network will allow the University to make more efficient use of both the existing and new bandwidth by diverting videoconferencing, VoIP (voice over IP) traffic and administrative data to this dedicated network. Currently all of the data is carried over the Internet bandwidth. The new network will connect both the existing Quad Cities campus on 60th Street and the new campus on Riverfront Drive to the Macomb campus.

Long-term planning also includes continued improvements to the network infrastructure for the University's wireless networks and increased access at the Gigabit (Gbps) level across the campuses. As of Dec. 1, WIU networks will operate at 535 Mbps of Internet access, with plans to increase the future capacity to 1 Gbps, Rives said.

"University Technology is dedicated to providing the highest level of Internet access to the students, faculty and staff possible and we will continue our commitment to advance the network infrastructure and bandwidth at Western Illinois University," he added.

For more information, contact uTech at (309) 298-4500. For additional assistance, contact the uTech Support Center at (309) 298-2704. For uTech updates, visit and follow uTech on Twitter at .

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations