AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The University of Texas at Austin has backed off a new Wi-Fi fee after students complained on social media about the charge, which would have been about a dollar a month.
University officials now say they would like student input about the new policy that would charge about $3 per semester, the Austin American-Statesman reported (http://bit.ly/1kGPWcV ). The fee would be for 10 gigabytes of bandwidth each week on the university’s wireless network. Students who did not pay the fee would have been forced to use a slower network.
Students who live off campus can currently receive 500 megabytes weekly for free before being moved on the slower network.
“We are not pressed to resolve this change quickly,” said Kevin Hegarty, the university’s vice president and chief financial officer. “What is more important is that we do what is right for our students.”
The university said about half of the students who use the college’s Wi-Fi are already buying extra bandwidth when they go over the 500 megabyte limit.
Students now pay $4.25 per semester for an additional 5 gigabytes of bandwidth each week.
The money would help cover the cost the university pays to provide internet access. That includes $6 million each year to maintain equipment, such as switches, routers and cables. The university said it would still have to continue to pay 95 percent of the costs.
Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com