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ResNet Bandwidth Policy

Background

A number of students currently living in PSU Housing Units are using RESNET1 or RESNET2 services. These services provide access to the Internet and the PSU Campus network. A number of students, as customers of this service, have rightfully become curious and concerned about how bandwidth is managed. This document will explain the architecture of the Internet access and reasons for limited bandwidth available for certain applications.

The PSU Office of Information Technology (OIT) currently manages the Campus network including the RESNET services and the Internet access for all campus residents.

Internet Access Architecture

The following diagram describes the current RESNET1 and RESNET2 architecture at a high level.

Both RESNET networks pass traffic through the bandwidth shaping device, pictured above. The purpose of this device is to limit the amount of bandwidth that can be consumed by peer-to-peer file-sharing applications. OIT accomplishes two goals by enforcing a limit on peer-to-peer file sharing. First, it ensures that individual users are not able to saturate PSU's Internet connection with peer-to-peer file-sharing applications and thus downgrade the Internet experience for other users. Second, PSU has an obligation to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to use technology to discourage the downloading of copyrighted material, which is primarily distributed via peer-to-peer networks. If PSU were found to be in noncompliance with the provisions of the DMCA, we could lose our Safe Harbor status and face much higher fees for our Internet bandwidth. These fees would ultimately have to be passed on to the consumers-namely, the residents of PSU Housing.

Conclusion

In the end, our main goal is to provide a cost-effective Internet access solution to students. Rather than drastically raising prices for individual residents in order to support unmitigated peer-to-peer file sharing, we have chosen to limit these protocols in order to provide a fast, reliable and cost-effective solution for our residents.