Short on Bandwidth? Problem or Dilemma?

Do any of your schools struggle with managing bandwidth so that videoconferences can happen? Mine do. I was reading Doug Johnson’s blog, and realized that his post Problem or Dilemma may assist with this issue:

[Dilemmas are] conditions that can only be managed, not solved because they involve conflicts in values. Because of individual priorities and “problem frames,” it is impossible to deal with these issues so that everyone gets what she/he desires. So how are these situations best dealt with? Personally, I like using my advisory committee (or a task force) comprised of all stakeholders effected to fully air the issue, suggest actions, and make a recommendation. Does everyone always like the result? No. But everyone knows why it has been made and has had a chance to have had their concerns heard.

Read the full post. How is bandwidth a dilemma? I have schools where they make an announcement (or send an email) for everyone to stay off their computers from 9:00-10:00 or whenever because a videoconference is going on. That’s pretty extreme, and those of you lucky enough to have fiber would never dream of such a situation. But it happens. In another district, due to internal networking, three schools have to stay offline to do a videoconference! Do you think these schools see videoconferencing as something they want to do on a daily or weekly basis? Certainly not! Just enough to meet the requirements of the RUS grant, or just enough to satisfy those teachers interested in using it. Just imagine the feeling about videoconferencing in these buildings! Having a conversation as Doug described is certainly one great way to get everyone involved in the issue.

What other ideas do you have?

0 replies on “Short on Bandwidth? Problem or Dilemma?”

  1. Hi there,

    To be perfectly clear, the problem/dilemma distinction was made by Larry Cuban, a professor at Stanford, not original with me.

    But glad it was useful and thanks to the link back to the Blue Skunk. We have the same bandwidth debates – do we block YouTube so the yearbook staff has more bandwidth??? Yikes!


  2. Hi, Doug and Janine…

    Some of our schools that use videoconferencing face a problem AND a dilemma.
    Some of the bandwidth issues are caused by poor network design, aging infrastructure, viruses, and spyware. Those are problems. Couple that with the ever increasing need for additional bandwidth to support web-based activities and IP traffic of our videoconferences and we do have a dilemma!

    We do not run QoS yet or have any tools to use for traffic shaping, so we continue to manage as best we can. I do like the suggestions for prioritizing and collaboratively making the decisions about how to make best use of what we have.

  3. Hi,
    In a multi video conference call, my audio suddenly missed to Far after about one hour call. Whereas incoming Audio from both the sites was OK to me and Video was fine from all the sides. Can you please through some light what could be the reason?

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