ASSESSMENT OF AFRICAN UNIVERSITIES BANDWIDTH MANAGEMENT
It is not good for an academic institutions to operate if it is not connected to the other academic communites. This calls for a good working access to the Internet. The Internet has now become essential for access to the state of the art in any subject, to undertake and publish research and therefore to attract funding. This is just as true for developing world institutions.
There are development agencies, foundations and funding organisations which have recognised the Internet as a vital tool for developing countries’ research and academic institutions.
Quite number of ideas have come up to make publications freely available online, Such resources are of great importance to researchers as is evident from the user feedback they receive and the immediate response if a system goes down at any time.
Developing country’s universities and their funders have made significant investments in Internet Connections. Bandwidth is both absolutely and relatively much more expensive for institutions in developing countries than for those in western nations.
Institutions are finding that they still do not have reliable, usable Internet access for their students and staff despite huge investment. ‘A recent BioMedCentral survey3 of health journal access programmes found that logging into some databases took so long that connections often timed out entirely.’ (INASP 2007) An Internet connection necessitates such high investment from an institution that other resources will invariably suffer as budgets are displaced. It is crucial that institutions implement management of their connections to ensure that returns on investments are achieved. Improving the performance of the information delivery is urgent if researchers and students are to benefit from the Internet and take part in the International academic community.
Managing bandwidth improves the performance of an internet connection by removing unnecessary traffic: "...improving bandwidth management is probably the easiest way for universities to improve the quantity and quality of their bandwidth for educational purposes. Bandwidth is like a pipe. It doesn’t matter how big the pipe is, if the traffic in the pipe is not managed it will clog up with unwanted traffic and be hijacked by viruses, spam, peer-to-peer file-sharing traffic and problems on the network will not be accurately diagnosed. Bandwidth management requires three activities:
- Monitoring and
If any one of these activities is missing then the management of bandwidth is significantly compromised. The activities embedded to each other
The objectives the project is to investigate:
- Bandwidth availability in use in African Universities
- the extent to which bandwidth is being managed and use
- the impact of bandwidth, availability and use of information resources for teaching, learning, and research
Sample size and Population Data collection instrument Method of data analysis
- To enhance services provided by the University Libraries for teaching Learning and research
- To increase access to electronic information resources.
- To encourage collaboration and networking among faculty, researchers and students for research, teaching, and learning
To know the purposes for which the bandwidth is being used
Bandwidth management is a serious challenge for many institutions in Africa. Lack of proper bandwidth management is preventing useful access to the Internet. Managing the bandwidth available would make the Internet much more accessible, especially for those with a very slow connection. All stakeholders, especially development agencies and funding bodies, senior management and network administrators, need to better understand the importance of bandwidth management before Internet accessibility can start to improve.