Georgia Southern University Information Technology Services’ decision to decrease the bandwidth to non-educational sites is a necessary step, regardless of how painful it is for students.
The bandwidth needed to be altered in a way to make sure that students could access the educational tools that they need to succeed or even participate in their classes. The university correctly assessed that social media and video sites such as YouTube and Facebook used up much of the bandwidth that was needed for educational endeavors.
While students will inevitably be unpleased about the slowing down of access to some of their favorite websites, they should remember that the reason they are in college is to get an education, not to tweet. In fact, with campus social media on a slower pace, it could force students to pay more attention in class.
ITS is also doing a good job of resolving the problem by planning to activate the fiber-optic cable that will greatly increase bandwidth on campus. The activation will presumably allow ITS to give each site the full allotment of bandwidth starting next semester.
Students will not be happy about having their social media sites slowed down, however, the university needs to focus on the students’ academic wellbeing, not the state of their social lives. ITS is right to prioritize academics, but should seek to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Students should remember why they are here and tolerate the lack of bandwidth for social media until the fiber-optic cable is running.