Introduction to bandwidth Management

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It is not good for an academic institution to operate if it is not connected to the other academic communities. 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: 1. Policy, 2. Monitoring and 3. Implementation. If any one of these activities is missing then the management of bandwidth is significantly compromised. The activities embedded to each other.