Whether you still call it Jamestown College with nostalgia or have embraced it as the University of Jamestown, one thing we all agree on is that the institution is a pillar of our community. The leaders of the University of Jamestown have always had an excellent vision for the future of the university, which includes being on the forefront of innovation and providing students the highest quality education. Much has evolved over the years, including the need for reliable broadband in education.
The University of Jamestown’s IT staff has worked closely with Dakota Central’s Network Technicians over the years to create a very complex network. As technology has changed, Dakota Central has ensured the equipment feeding the
university’s network has stayed up to date. This has proven to be effective, as the University of Jamestown recently became Dakota Central’s first 10 Gig internet customer, and one of the few institutions in the state to be connected at that level.
“Because all the back-end equipment was in place, it was easy to bump the bandwidth to 10 Gig symmetrical from their previous 1 Gig,” said John Cunningham, Dakota Central’s Chief Network Officer. For those not as familiar with technical jargon, “symmetrical” means that download and upload speeds are the same, so 10 Gigabits per second upload by 10 Gigabits per second download, in this case. Many students these days don’t have cable TV; instead, they subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and other app-based services. Much of their education happens online as well, meaning virtually all of their activity happens over the Internet. “Overall, user experience will improve whether it be for education or entertainment,” said Chris Hoke, Chief Information Officer.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to adapt quickly and utilize the technology available, requiring flexibility from students and faculty alike. Some of the practices implemented during the pandemic, like Lecture Capture, have continued into this year. The UJ eSports team quickly came up in discussion about the benefits of 10 Gig.
“If anyone will test the bandwidth it will be them,” Hoke said. “A reliable connection is essential; their internet connection means win or lose.”
The eSports players are always the first to notice latency, if there is any. Hoke explained how an improvement was made to the network recently and the players immediately noticed a reduction in drop rates and improvement in latency, down to
the millisecond. The benefits of 10 Gig service will also be seen with live broadcasts of sporting events in the Newman Arena and the new Charlotte and Gordon Hanson Stadium. Many people have gotten used to watching sports live, whether on TV or online. Aside from the fresh popcorn, excitement in the crowd, and the level of noise, watching a game live at home is almost as good as being there in person!
With all the complexities in the university’s network, sometimes it takes a little extra support to keep things up and running at all times. “We see a tremendous value in having a local service provider,” Hoke said. “It helps to know exactly who to call. Rod knows our network just as well as I do, and we appreciate his expertise. It also helps that he is willing to crawl through tunnels and cobwebs for me.”
The Jamestown community is lucky to be home to a quality educational institution that sees value in innovation. Dakota Central is proud to provide the fastest speeds available to the University of Jamestown, and will be ready to deliver 100 Gig internet when duty calls!