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Lipscomb by the numbers – WiFi

This week’s edition of Lipscomb by the numbers takes a look at none other than the campus’s WiFi. With so many students coming back to campus from break this week, and all of their devices rejoining the school’s WiFi network, the WiFi is going to be busier than it’s been in the past week.

But the WiFi sees peak hours, and those are the numbers we’re going to talk about this week. There are three WiFi’s on campus: staff, student and guest. All of the peak time numbers come from IT.

The first of these, the staff WiFi, sees its peak demand from basically 1-3pm. After three, the majority of the staff goes home and aren’t using that WiFi. If some staff does stay later than that, the demand on the WiFi is still lessened because the amount of staff using it is far fewer.

Second is the student WiFi – the one we use and struggle with. That’s because students are using the WiFi all day. WiFi usage on the student’s network only ever wanes around midnight. But its hottest usage hours are from 5-11pm. Especially from 9-11pm. And especially on Fridays. And that’s not necessarily because students are doing homework (according to IT not much WiFi bandwidth is actually required for Canvas). That’s also because students are gaming, streaming, and listening to music, among other things. All of those things require a constant connection to the WiFi.

The interesting thing is, most people may think that the main culprit when it comes to hogging up the WiFi is gaming. But it’s not. The real thief is actually Spotify. That music streaming platform is even worse than gaming or streaming movies. Spotify makes its music “better” for you to listen to by taking up more bandwidth. The more bandwidth it can take, the “better quality” its music is. And the more students listening to music on Spotify at once… there goes the student WiFi.

Finally, third is the guest WiFi. But because there are not always guests on campus, that WiFi and its usage change all the time, so it’s harder to pin.