SOURCE: ACUTA; NACUBO

ACUTA; NACUBO

February 26, 2013 09:10 ET

Second Annual ACUTA/NACUBO State of ResNet Report Reveals Residential Networking Trends and Challenges Facing Higher Education Institutions

2013 Study Reports Increasing Internet Bandwidth Demand and Rising Costs Amid Tightening Budgets, Lack of 24/7 Support and More

LEXINGTON, KY and WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Feb 26, 2013) - The Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education (ACUTA) and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) today announced the publication of the 2013 ACUTA/NACUBO State of ResNet Report, casting a spotlight on important residential networking trends and challenges facing universities and colleges across the country.

The 2013 report reveals schools rising to meet bandwidth demands but struggling to manage escalating costs amid tightening budgets. It is the second installment of a comprehensive five-year tracking study to measure the broad variation in residential networking (ResNet) practices and policies in higher education in order to develop a long-term body of knowledge around an area where very little aggregate data currently exists. It is also the first time that two leading institutions have pooled their expertise to study ResNet issues and the first time that respondents extend beyond higher-education IT officers to CFOs and business officers.

"The ACUTA/NACUBO Study paints a vivid picture of the intensifying tug-of-war between rising ResNet costs and tightening budgets at many of our nation's universities and colleges," said Dee Childs, ACUTA Environmental Scanning Committee Chair, Associate Provost and Chief Information Officer of The University of Alabama in Huntsville. "It is our hope that the study will provide a comprehensive and coherent inventory of practices, perceptions and priorities to help administrators rise to the challenges of the coming years."

John Walda, NACUBO President and Chief Executive Officer, adds, "Reaping the rewards of technological leaps while maintaining both administrative and budgetary efficacy is a delicate balance for administrators. This study is a positive step toward fostering greater cooperation and dialogue among stakeholders and an important contribution to helping higher-education institutions develop successful ResNet strategies."

Key Insights of the 2013 ACUTA/NACUBO State of ResNet Report include:

  • More campuses need a strategic ResNet Plan: Only 40 percent of campuses have a strategic plan for ResNet growth in the years ahead. A significant number of all respondents (14 percent) are unsure whether there's a plan.

  • Rising ResNet costs, tightening budgets: Bandwidth and connectivity requirements are increasing just as the cost to deliver these services is on the rise. The 2013 study shows that 61 percent of surveyed universities and colleges expect the cost of providing ResNet to increase, but only 39 percent of institutions saw an increase in the operating budget devoted to the ResNet. Nearly 10 percent of institutions experienced a decrease in the operating budget devoted to ResNet. Smaller institutions are more likely to fund ResNet centrally or through student fees. About 60 percent of business-officer respondents expect ResNet costs to increase.

  • Increased Internet bandwidth, greater options: As high-bandwidth applications and streaming services continue to proliferate, so do costs. Three out of four business officer respondents attribute ResNet budget increases to additional services and/or an increase in bandwidth. In response to demand, schools have also tried to provide more connectivity options. The number of respondents that say students can pay for additional bandwidth has nearly tripled from six percent to 16 percent. There has also been a 12 percent growth in the administrators and officers who say "yes" to unlimited access.

  • Outsourcing for advantage: Twenty-two percent of respondents outsourced or considered outsourcing portions of the ResNet. Residential cable is the service most frequently considered for outsourcing by business officers, followed by phone and Internet service. The student help desk is least likely to be considered for outsourcing by business officers.

  • Maintaining legacy infrastructure while forging ahead with new technologies: Many schools are challenged to "keep up with the new" while "maintaining the old" simultaneously. In response to an ever-increasing number of applications and streaming services, institutions have increased the Internet bandwidth and speeds dedicated to their residential network over the past year, but have also kept older technologies such as landline phones and wired Ethernet.

  • Schools lack round-the-clock support: Most respondents (88 percent) do not provide 24/7 support.

The full report, available online at www.acuta.org, identifies further trends and provides insights into higher education's ResNet structures, network infrastructure -- present and future, and staffing service and support.

About the 2013 ACUTA/NACUBO State of ResNet Report
For the second year, Forward Analytics, a nationally-recognized market research firm, was contracted to design the 2013 survey and conducted polling in November and December 2012. The ACUTA/NACUBO State of ResNet study was conducted online and targeted higher education IT leaders or business officers responsible for ResNet and technology infrastructure. A total of 280 surveys were completed, representing 251 universities or colleges (28 institutions had multiple respondents) within a sample population of 1,700 U.S. higher-education institutions determined to have provided on-campus housing for students.

About ACUTA
ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, is an international nonprofit educational association serving colleges and universities. Its core purpose is to advance the capabilities of higher-education communications and collaboration technology leaders. ACUTA represents nearly 2,000 individuals at more than 700 institutions of higher education, with members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the very largest U.S. institutions. ACUTA's corporate affiliate members represent all categories of communications technology vendors serving the college/university market. For more information about ACUTA and its mission, visit www.acuta.org.

About NACUBO
NACUBO, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, founded in 1962, is a nonprofit professional organization representing chief administrative and financial officers at more than 2,500 colleges and universities across the country. NACUBO's mission is to promote sound management and financial practices at colleges and universities. For more information about NACUBO, visit www.nacubo.org.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Pat Scott
    ACUTA Communications Director
    859-278-3338 ext. 221
    Email Contact

    Lisa Jordan
    Assistant Director, Communications
    NACUBO
    202.861.2565
    Email Contact