CAMPUS LIFE Victor the beaver's guide to the interwebs

Higher-Ed Hotspots: A unique look at internet speeds on college campuses across America

Jun 16 2014 at 3:01 pm by

Universities today generate and download incredible amounts of information. Researchers depend on the capability to transmit that information for their livelihoods. Professors depend upon that capability to instruct their students. Students, who are in their dorm rooms studying (and totally not playing online games with their friends, procrastinating until the last second) depend upon that capability to work toward building their futures. Speed matters. However, Internet speeds are not the same at every college. In fact, some of the differences in upload and download speeds might shock you.  Some colleges that you might expect to be leading the pack in terms of Internet speeds are actually rather mediocre, and vice-versa.

How does your school stack up?

Recently, we teamed up with Testmy.net, a free unaffiliated, unbiased, data speed testing service, to test the Internet speeds at some of America’s most prestigious and well-known universities as well as at some lesser-known institutions. They gathered this unique data, crunched the numbers, and the results are interesting, to say the least. Notably, the college with the highest download speeds is not Harvard or Yale, as one might expect. In fact, it isn’t an Ivy League at all. Instead, Lamar State College in Port Arthur, Texas wins the gold medal for download speeds, clocking in at 154.8 Megabits per second. Talk about an unexpected victory!

Lamar State is not alone. The list of the top 25 speediest college Internet connections include names such as Delaware Technical, Carroll College, Langston University, Clarkson College, and Columbia-Greene Community College, to name a few of the unexpected contenders on our list. That’s right, small colleges (even community colleges) rank right up there with the big boys when it comes to Internet speeds.

Wallet size and speed don’t correlate

Furthermore, the size of a college’s endowment does not necessarily correlate with higher Internet speeds. The colleges with the largest endowments, with the exception of Texas A&M, all have Internet speeds only slightly better than those of state colleges. While for some, this means that you don’t necessarily get what you pay for in terms of Internet speed, for others, they can rest assured that neither their geography nor their endowment size will necessarily limit their download capability.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to submit your term paper on time just because you don’t attend a school that boasts a spot on our top 25, but if Internet speeds are a major concern to you, neither the size of the college nor their prestige will guarantee you better download or upload rates than smaller, lesser-known institutions. This data not only illustrates the status quo with regard to Internet speeds at institutions of higher learning, but it can also serve as a call-to-action to those institutions that are lagging behind to implement better infrastructure to improve their position and benefit the students and faculty that depend on their Internet access to thrive.

Check out this comparison of university Internet speeds:

Internet speeds on college campuses

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Comments (1)

  1. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted
    to say superb blog!