VoIP and Precautions Killing Bandwidth

There were many changes to our school this year. Two of them were not welcome. This was the reduction of bandwidth that we created by our new telephone system, and a new phishing filter installed on the routers.

To give you a background, our school network connects to the internet on two T1 lines. Last year, you could look forward to achieving around 70kbps download speed on most sites because of the volume of users and students using it during the day. At night, you could look forward to going around 190kbps.  Since the phone system was installed, you can expect to have around 20kbps or even slower during the day. I could connect via a modem and get better download speeds than that! This is especially frustrating in my networking class since we take our tests and read material online. Some of that is flash-based content which is just horribly slow. Since the phone system is constantly running, it doesn’t get much better at night.

Another slowdown is the phishing filter. I don’t get the reasoning for this one, but it’s affecting the system, so I figured I would talk about it. Every single request for a page has to go through the phishing filter which takes a second to analyze if your only serving up a page, but when it’s looking at all the packets being requested from everyone in the school, that number rises to 100s of pages per second. The result is waiting at least 10 seconds before the pages even start to load. They also “upgraded” to IE7, which has it’s own phishing filter, and its own problems. I usually turn it off, but to those who leave it on, it just makes it that much slower.

I guess VoIP is the way of the future, but it has to be used responsibly. Our IT guys made an assumption about the amount of bandwidth it would take up, and it has cost us. The phishing filter doesn’t make any sense since people shouldn’t be using their credit cards and getting scammed on school time anyways. I don’t mean to blame it on the IT guys because they were probably pressured to reduce costs by installing VoIP and the phishing filter is the result of people’s actions. That’s all for now, see you in the future!

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