Universities across the US have been at war with P2P for a while now, but this is more than a little bit ridiculous. In an attempt to manage their network, Ohio University has banned access to Netflix. A copy of the university’s email was originally posted to Reddit
Due to extremely high demand, the university’s Internet connection currently does not have enough capacity to meet service expectations and results in noticeably slow connections at times. Traffic analyses have shown streaming media usage accounts for nearly two-thirds of our current demand, with Netflix being the largest single consumer of our Internet capacity. In an effort to free up the bandwidth faculty and students need to complete academic online tasks during finals week, the university will be instituting a temporary limit on the total bandwidth available for Netflix traffic. The restriction will go into effect this evening, Monday, March 14 at 6:00 pm. OIT appreciates your patience as this temporary corrective action is taken. We welcome and encourage your thoughts on a more permanent solution as we engage the university in planning on this critical issue.
Best regards, J. Brice Bible Chief Information Officer”
I’m not sure whether or not this will boost grades at the school, but it does say a lot about how popular Netflix is becoming. While this may be a temporary fix for the school, it isn’t a very good long term bandaid. The internet is more important than it’s ever been and students need access to a robust network to participate in that. If the school can’t keep up with demand, their customers (the students) will leave for places where they have unlimited bandwidth. Even if the school doesn’t upset their students, it’s not going to stop digital video consumption. A ban on Netflix will only drive their students underground where illegitimate sources of content can fulfill their entertainment needs.