Bandwidth and Network Traffic Monitoring

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What is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the communication capacity of a network. When you use the Internet, you are using bandwidth. Bandwidth is used in both directions, i.e. for uploads and downloads.

Data flows quickly and smoothly when the amount of traffic on the network is small relative to its capacity. When the amount of traffic nears the capacity of the network, the speed at which data travels begins to drop. When students on the residence hall network share large amounts of data, which could include music and movie files, the speed of the network decreases for everyone in the residence halls. Similarly, very large data transfers using the campus network affect availability for everyone on the campus network. For this reason, UCSC has some bandwidth limitations.

Bandwidth Limitations

ITS tracks bandwidth usage to protect the quality of the campus network service. Network administrators identify anomalies in traffic, such as spikes in usage, and follow up as appropriate. Devices whose level of network activity is sufficiently large as to interfere with the normal business activity of the university may be blocked from the campus network. Specific campus guidelines and procedures for blocking network access are available at:

Bandwidth for University Housing

Bandwidth in University Housing may depend upon the network capabilities available in a particular area of campus. See ResNet Cable Plant Infrastructure for more information.

Traffic Monitoring and Privacy

Network administrators pay attention to network traffic as one method to manage the resource and ensure that bandwidth is available for academic, research, and administrative uses in alignment with the university’s mission. At UCSC, ITS takes privacy very seriously. ITS monitors the quantity of your usage, not the content of your usage. They also monitor network traffic/bandwidth strictly to protect the quality of the network service.

Rev. Jan 2017