Campus Issues

In the SERENATE project, campus issues were already identified as a topic for investigation, but SERENATE itself did not have enough time to look into the issues concerned. The main issue that drew attention then was available bandwidth. SERENATE stated that in Europe campus networks had at that time often become the weakest link in the chain of end-to-end services needed for research and education. Therefore it was recommended that universities and research institutes and their supervisory and funding bodies should ensure that their campus networks were adequately resourced. In general, expenditure for ongoing technical upgrade in campus networks is best treated as a budget expense on an annual basis, the SERENATE Summary Report said. In addition, SERENATE stated that research and education institutions should consider acquiring their own fibre infrastructure between their Local Area Network(s) and the point(s) of presence of key service and/or infrastructure providers, if necessary by commissioning its construction.

Currently, the advent of optical networking has given a new dimension to the role of the campus network as the bottleneck in network provision. At the same time, a number of other campus issues have become more prominent than before, as explained below. Therefore it has been decided to make campus issues an EARNEST study area in its own right. For the purpose of this sub-study, the campus issues are grouped into five clusters:

  • Campus infrastructure
  • Network services
  • Governance and funding
  • Network expertise
  • Collaboration

Key information on these various aspects has been retrieved from campus network managers by means of an online survey. This has been followed up with more in-depth interviews with some of the respondants.