By Dennis Pierce
In managing the wide-area networks for 13 colleges in northeast
Texas, Mickey Slimp has seen campus network usage rise
sharply in recent years—and the biggest spike is yet to come.
“We’re seeing exponential growth in bandwidth demands
at our institutions,” says Slimp, who is executive director of
the Northeast Texas Consortium of Colleges and Universities.
Students used to come to campus with a single Internet-connected device, he says. Now, they arrive with multiple
devices that access the network, including laptops, cell
phones and wearable devices such as FitBits.
In 2008, the average number of connected devices per
student was 0.8, according to a Pearson survey. By 2020,
Slimp estimates, each college student could arrive on
campus with at least four—and perhaps as many as eight—
The universe of networked devices is growing exponentially—and this trend has
big implications for community colleges.