Provide UT Austin students with free access to unlimited, high speed Wi-fi.
This petition had 369 supporters
The University of Texas at Austin provides all of its students with some measure of high-speed internet access, by default. The amount of High-speed data allotted to each student varies depending on where the student lives. If the student lives on campus, then 10 Gigabytes of data are given, while only 1 GB is given to off campus students.
Data is allotted once a week (with the particular day varying from student to student). Once all of the data has been used, the student will be stuck on the lower-speed network until his/her allocation day. Normally, slightly slower internet would not be an issue worth petitioning over. However, in this case, the slower internet speed is a dramatic decrease from the norm, dropping to a rate of 0.125 Megabytes per second, which is only a fraction of 1% of the higher speed. The only website which the students have unlimited access to is Canvas (the university classwork management site, formerly known as Blackboard).
Finally, all students are encouraged (should they run out of data) to purchase more usable data for the semester, for a relatively small fee.
My fellow classmates have repeatedly told me stories about how they would be researching for a class project, or reading a digital textbook that was assigned to them, and they suddenly ran out of data! They were then forced to either go home and use their computers with their home Wi-fi network, or (if they lived on campus) to purchase more data for the semester.
This is inefficient for both on-campus and off-campus students. For the off-campus students, this means having to leave campus and walk all the way home just to study for the classes they are taking on campus. For the on-campus students, this means having to pay money for more access than they require for the rest of the semester.
By my research, over 80% of students live off campus, myself included. This means that a vast majority of students who attend the university are paying for internet twice (once at home, and once at the school). In this technologically advanced age where more and more classes are assigning homework that require research from the internet or videos streamed live, no public university should be making its students pay for access to such a vital resource as High-speed internet, least of all a university as great as UT Austin.
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