The College Student's Subsistence Diet

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Let’s face it: college students are utterly dependent on Internet access. A survey by the Wi-Fi Alliance and Wakefield Research found that an overwhelming majority of college students—90 percent!—view Wi-Fi as essential to their educational success, on par with classrooms and computers. In fact, they’d rather abstain from beer or wear their school rival team’s colors than go without wireless access, and most wouldn’t even consider attending a college that didn’t offer free and fast Wi-Fi.

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As schools today compete fiercely to attract and retain students, there’s a major push to deploy high-speed Wi-Fi networks, especially in lesser populated states like Wyoming and Alabama. In fact, it is occurring faster in universities than in all other markets, and higher education is poised to be the No. 1 customer for these networks in the coming decade, according to a new business analysis. There’s additional pressure on American universities because if academic communities in other countries have access to more advanced networks and tools, the U.S. will lose its preeminence in research internationally. Such a decline could have profound implications for the American economy and society. In a climate of greater international competitiveness and constrained public investment, U.S. leadership requires new approaches if it is to be sustained.

One such effort to expand Internet access in higher education in the U.S. is Gig.U (the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project), a broad-based group of over 30 leading research universities that’s been ushering in high-speed networks to the schools and their surrounding communities. This infographic examines college students’ dependence on high-speed, convenient Internet access and the efforts of universities to respond to this demand.


College Students Say Wi-Fi has Become a Fixture on Campus, Wi-Fi Alliance and Wakefield Research,

College Students Find WiFi Essential to Education, Survey Reports, CampusTechnology, September 2008,

The Future Of Wi-Fi Is Already On These 10 College Campuses, Edudemic, September 2012,

For a complete list of sources, please view the infographic.

The College Student's Subsistence Diet
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