Slow internet, fast anger

What issues are most important to students at Castleton? When surveyed, what they had to say was a lot of the same; there should be more parking, the Internet is too slow, the food at Huden is bad, etc. This is exactly what anyone would expect. It’s old news to everyone who’s been at the school for longer than a week. But is it really as bad as everyone thinks? Do we really have any right to complain about the parking, food or Internet, the way everyone seems to think we do?

We decided to explore this question in detail, focusing first on the recurring response complaining about Internet speed and the findings were interesting.

Students who were surveyed were asked to take part in an Internet bandwidth test, which provided the average download speed of the Internet at their school.

As a frame of reference, average residential Internet can download a file at 350 kilobytes per second, which can download a song in about 20 seconds or load a three-minute video in 10 seconds.

When the results came in, there didn’t seem to be much of a theme. The download speed at Bennington College was lightning-fast by normal standards, clocking in at 4,028 kb/s. However, when compared to the 11,062 kb/s speed at Alabama, it was much less impressive.

In an average from six students in three residence halls in Castleton who took the test simultaneously, we clocked in at 2,638 kb/s, only beating the last place The College of New Jersey, which had a speed of 1,427 kb/s.

Castleton student Kyle Reed stated, “I’m not happy with the speed of our school’s internet. There is a lot of room for improvement.”

Based on the results of the tests, this seems justified. However, another factor that must be taken into consideration is the price of rooms charged by the respective campuses. We’re going to use a price-to-speed ratio for convenience of comparison, which will divide the internet speed in kilobytes per second by the price of room in dollars charged annually.

The ratio for Castleton is a less than impressive 55 percent, meaning for every dollar a student pays to room at CSC, he is getting a .55 a kilobyte-per-second download speed.

How does that stack up to other schools? TCNJ fell at 38 percent, Marist College achieved 207 percent, Bennington scored an average 65 percent while schools like James Madison and Alabama soared at 298 percent and 220 percent respectively.

When compared to larger and more expensive schools, it seems within our bounds to complain about the Internet speed. JMU beat Castleton’s ratio by nearly 6:1. On the other hand, when compared to other equally as expensive schools like TCNJ, maybe we don’t have it so bad here after all.

Next time you get aggravated at the Internet here at Castleton, ask yourself if it’s really worth getting fed up over when those poor souls at TCNJ are probably waiting twice as long as you are and paying just as much.

– Nick Minarik

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