Why Is My Network Connection So Slow?

The Internet connectivity at Kenyon is a finite resource. Everyone at Kenyon shares a single connection out to the Internet. Although this connection is extremely fast and reliable, this connection can be saturated and overwhelmed. Kenyon employs technologies for metering and throttling devices that are abusing the network connectivity, and making network access equitable to all is a priority of the network team. Most activities, like video streaming and web browsing, only transmit small amounts of data at a time, which helps your browsing experience. Thankfully, most devices aren't capable of saturating the connection to the Internet.

In order to distribute network access throughout campus, Kenyon has built out an extensive backbone of optical fiber and copper to every single building. However, in extremely busy buildings, a leg off of that backbone can become saturated. Some buildings, like Peirce Hall, see thousands of people at a time, and balancing the needs of these extremely busy buildings with the academic needs of other buildings is a difficult issue to solve, since the bulk of "lunch time" browsing is not tied to the academic mission of the College. During these busy periods, we need to implement stricter controls on metering and throttling devices that are hogging bandwidth to ensure that other academic buildings are not starved of connectivity.

Sometimes, it's not Kenyon's equipment or connection that's limiting your connectivity. The remote server that you are trying to reach may be overwhelmed, or the backbone of the Internet may be busy. Consider that the remote server that you're trying to access might be in Gambier (if it's served by Kenyon on-premise), Columbus, Ohio (Amazon Web Services's Ohio region) or Oak Park, Illinois (Microsoft Azure's Midwest region) (relatively close to Kenyon's campus), but it might also be in Zurich, Switzerland (Microsoft Azure's North Switzerland region), Incheon, South Korea (Microsoft Azure's Korea North region), or Sydney, Australia (Microsoft Azure's Australia East region), just to name a few. The Internet is comprised of computers all over the world!