UHV bandwidth investment enriches educational experience

$300,000 project benefits students, faculty and community educational organizations


Students and faculty at the University of Houston-Victoria campus are now able to learn, teach and research through the Internet much faster. In mid September, UHV increased its level of connectivity to the Internet over 100 times by establishing the first fiber optic educational communication link in the Victoria area.


According to Joe Ferguson, UHV Information Technology senior director, the increased bandwidth allows students, faculty and staff to send and receive much more information faster and more efficiently.


Prior to the bandwidth expansion, students who viewed streamed videos, a component in many of the university’s online courses, were disrupted by pauses or disconnections on campus, he said. The increased bandwidth has eliminated the disruptions.


Ferguson said the increased bandwidth now enables UHV faculty members to conduct research more easily with colleagues at other institutions: faculty members can now transfer large files to one another in minutes instead of hours.


The bandwidth expansion was officially announced at a “lighting” ceremony at UHV Nov. 28.


“This is clearly an investment towards enriching the educational experience for our students and faculty,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “This upgraded technology definitely has made the Internet traffic on campus run more smoothly for our university community.”


Ferguson said other local educational organizations will also benefit from the17-month bandwidth expansion project. UHV is now the local hub for improved access to the Internet, Internet2, and other education and research organizations and entities, he said.


“We can now furnish the local education and research community with the advantages this upgraded Internet connection has to offer,” Hudson said. “The Victoria College, our local partner in higher education, and the UTMB Clinic at Citizens Medical Center, for example, will soon have the opportunity to move forward much faster in their research and educational endeavors.”


In summer 2007, Infiniti Communications Technologies, a subsidiary of Victoria Communications Services, buried a fiber optic cable across Victoria which interconnects with the high bandwidth fiber between Houston and Corpus Christi. This cable connects UHV to Internet2, the National Lambda Rail and other advanced research, educational and health services networks.


The Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN), a non-profit collaboration of Texas higher education institutions, manages the services provided through the cable.


Ferguson said a number of key organizations made the expansion a reality.


“Without the help of LEARN, the UH Information Technology Department, the Texas Learning and Computation Center at UH, the City of Victoria and the Victoria Area Network, this bandwidth expansion might not have materialized.” Ferguson said. “It’s because of this concerted effort that the university and the local education and research community now have this advanced technology at their fingertips.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ernest Amador 361-570-4342