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Internet Data Plans

Number of views : 3559
Article Number : KB0011687
Published on : 2017-01-27
Last modified : 2017-01-27 18:05:34
Knowledge Base : IT Public Self Help

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Overview

The university provides a default data allocation to all faculty, students, staff, official visitors, and certain affiliated workers intended to meet most academic and business needs. If that default allocation is consumed, Internet bandwidth for the individual will be limited to approximately 250 Kbps until the individual's weekly allocation is automatically reset. Individuals that need larger data allocations can purchase an optional data plan. 

 

Default Data Allocations

The default allocations are reviewed and approved by campus IT Governance and funded through ITS Common Good services. The allocations are based on the roles / affiliations with the University. Current default allocations are as follows:

Role / AffiliationAllocation
Faculty 2000 GB/week
Student 1 GB/week
Part-Time Staff 10 GB/week
Full-Time Staff, Teaching Assistants, Official Visitors, Affiliated Workers 500 GB/week
Graduate Fellowships * 500 GB/week

 * Qualifying graduate fellowships must be administered by the Graduate School Office and meet minimum funding thresholds ($10,000/yr).

 

PNA Data Plans

Individuals needing to use more data than their default allocation can purchase a PNA (Personal Network Access) Data Plan. The purchased data plan is additive with the default allocation. The data plan allocations and pricing is reviewed and approved through the university's rate review process.

NoteStudents living the the university residence halls are not eligible for PNA Data Plans and must upgrade their Resnet subscription to increase their data allocation.

Data PlanAllocationPrice
Tier 1 10 GB/wk $4.00 per semester
Tier 2 50 GB/wk $7.00 per semester
Tier 3 200 GB/wk $8.00 per semester
Tier 4 500 GB/wk $10.00 per semester

The above rates are effective from August 1, 2016 through July 31, 2018.

 

Data Plans Explained

The data allocation is the amount of Internet data an individual can consume at unlimited rates (i.e. able to download/upload as fast as the connection is able to support). Once the data allocation has been consumed, the individual's Internet access will be rate limited to about 250 Kbps until their allocation is reset automatically each week. On-campus services (e.g. www.utexas.edu, some department web sites, shared storage systems hosted on-campus) are always available at unlimited rates. Off-campus services (e.g. Canvas, UTBox, Google) are the only ones that count towards the data allocations and subject to rate limiting once the individual's allocation has been exceeded.

Limits to Internet data consumption are in place to ensure that the finite Internet bandwidth available to campus is managed fairly among users of the university network. On-campus services are exempt from these limits because there are no ISP (Internet Service Provider) charges for delivering that data beyond the capital costs for purchasing the equipment and the maintenance/support/licensing costs to operate it. 

 

Subsidized PNA Data Plans vs. Non-Subsidized Resnet Data Plans

The prices for PNA data plans is lower than that of similar tiers for Resnet data plans. This difference is due to how the services are funded at the university.

The PNA data plans are heavily subsidized by the individual colleges/departments across the university, who fund the capital and recurring costs to purchase the network equipment (e.g. wireless access points, network switches, etc.) and the supporting infrastructure costs (e.g. cabling, construction of physical pathways to deliver power and data to the equipment, and labor and materials for installation). In addition, ITS funds the capital and recurring costs of the wireless core routers, controllers, supporting systems, and personnel as part of its Common Good services. As a result, subscribers to PNA data plans only pay the marginal cost of Internet bandwidth (i.e. ISP costs) for the service.

Resnet data plans differ in that the service must fund all aspects of its installation and operations itself. So in addition to the cost of the Internet bandwidth itself, the Resnet data plans also account for all the physical equipment/infrastructure and the costs needed to operate and support the service.

 

Departmentally-Funded Data Plans

At their discretion, departments may purchase supplemental data plans for their faculty, students, and staff. The TSC (Technical Support Contact) and an authorized purchaser from the department can create a request to ITS for this type of allocation. The department must provide a UT account number to pay for the additional data plan and a list of the individual UT EIDs for which they wish to purchase the data plan. Pricing and terms are the same as the PNA Data Plans listed above.

In very rare circumstances, the cost for departmentally-funded data plans may be waived if there are special circumstances or legal/compliance issues (e.g. additional data allocation needed to accommodate special software/systems for vision or hearing-impaired students).

 

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