Managing Bandwidth

Recently someone asked me for suggestions on how to set up videoconferencing “so that we do not tie up our school’s T1 line.” This is certainly a challenge and we all wish for more bandwidth. But when you don’t have it, what can you do?

I have some smaller districts (1500 students or less) using 1 T1 for 2-3 buildings and here are some of the strategies we use:

  1. Make sure unitedstreaming cannot be used live. Set it so that teachers have to download ahead of time (i.e. at night).
  2. Set QoS (Quality of Service) on the T1 for one videoconference – 384K – to ensure enough bandwidth for the connection. Or lock down the endpoint and QoS to just 128K.
  3. Use whatever means necessary/available to make sure only one videoconference is scheduled at a time.
  4. Sometimes extreme measures are used as well. One of my buildings makes an announcement over the PA that everyone should get off their computers because a videoconference is happening. In another building, the teachers receive an email ahead of time asking them to stay offline during the videoconference.

In addition, the resources on the Technical page on TWICE are very helpful. What suggestions do you have?

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