UPIC Studies Feedback from 2002 Services Survey

Posted: May 6, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

As a part of its annual analysis of the George Mason Services survey, the University Process Improvement Council (UPIC) studied comments related to the survey question of “providing remote connectivity to computer data and Internet.” Most of the comments were directed at the university policy of not allowing off-campus access to the Internet through George Mason network equipment, which was implemented on Oct. 1, 2001.

UPIC reviewed why the policy was developed and studied the underlying data that supported the decision. Statistical analysis of modem usage supported the notion that a majority of the dial-up usage was directly related to Internet usage. For example, in March 2001 there was an average of 390 modem connections per hour. By November 2001, after blocking Internet access for off-campus users, the average dropped to 81.

As a result of its review, UPIC affirmed that the new policy has indeed achieved several of the institutional objectives intended, according to Ken Hubble, chair of the council.

In terms of cost, the new policy has reduced the number of ISDN PRI (Integrated Services Digital Network Primary Rate Interface) lines from 18 to 5 resulting in a savings of $80,808 annually, and providing Internet service would have cost the university $20,000 per month. Also, aging modems were beyond their normal end-of-life and would have had to be replaced, and the demand for Internet access was growing exponentially, straining network bandwidth and network equipment.

The new policy is consistent with other Virginia state colleges and universities, and it does not provide remote Internet access, which would have violated the state’s Internet policy.

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