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Unrestricted Internet Access for AIT residents (UIA)

Introduction to the UIA scheme for AIT campus residents.



Rationale

The Internet is essential to a modern campus for access to scientific and academic material. It is also essential to modern day life, providing a gateway to myriad activities such as entertainment, games, and social networks.

AIT provides Internet access for academic and supportive use throughout the campus, in academic buildings as well as in residential areas. However, access to non-academic resources on any large scale cannot be supported by the Institute as that would be against the goals of an academic institute and, in particular, those of our donors.

Nevertheless, there is an undoubted need of AIT campus residents for completely open access to the internet, not necessarily restricted to academics, during the non-work leisure part of their day.

To provide such access the IT Committee has developed the Unrestricted Internet Access for AIT residents (UIA) scheme. Under this scheme, the Institute will purchase a large bulk of bandwidth from an ISP (Internet Service Provider) which then will be split into two parts: one for academic use from campus offices, classrooms and laboratories, and the other for unrestricted (UIA) use from campus residences.

The Institute shall pay for the academic part while the UIA part is to be covered by user subscriptions. For technical and financial reasons user subscription cannot be made optional – it is to be a mandatory utility fee for residents, the amount of the fee depending on user type.

 

Specifics

Amount of Additional Bandwidth

Currently, as of October, 2012, AIT has a 460 Mbps access to the internet, which is used both from campus offices and residences. The total of 310 Mbps from True will be used for the residential units and 150 Mbps from CAT is reserved for academic and related use on the campus.

However, the configuration will allow for spikes in either the academic or UIA lines to borrow available bandwidth from the other.

Improvement in Internet Access

Our calculations indicate that the per-residential-unit access bandwidth will be almost exactly comparable to that through the popular 6 Mbps ADSL scheme that many ISPs offer in Thailand (for, typically, 599 baht + 7% VAT = 641 baht/month, January 2011: hi-speed Internet by TrueOnline).

Therefore, we expect the UIA will relieve almost totally the problem of slow access, both in offices and residences.

Start date

May 1, 2011.
The start of UIA service will be preceded first by equipment installation, then testing beginning April 18 and, finally, campus-wide service trials.

User Fees

The fees – to be charged as utility – are:
  1. Nil for students with a room rental lease agreement signed prior to the UIA service start date of May 1, 2011, until graduation (effectively saving students enrolled prior to the UIA implementation an unplanned expenditure).
  2. 400 baht/month for students signing a first room rental lease agreement on or after May 1, 2011.
  3. 400 baht/month for employee residents in units of type ST4 studio and small family unit, ST 6 studio, ST 7 bachelor and studio,  and ST 9 studio (these are units that rent currently for less than 6000 baht/month).
  4. 600 baht/month for employee residents in units of all other types – that is, not covered by 3. – except for ST3 which is not charged at all because, for technical reasons, it cannot be provided UIA service.
Note: The fees are mandatory. Specifically, if a resident falls in one of the categories above with an applicable UIA fee, then s/he must pay the fee - there is no option to opt out.  UIA itself will be an always-on utility in campus residential units. The fee will appear as a utility charge in the monthly rent bill.

Legal Use of the UIA vs. Acceptable Use Policy

The UIA is outside the scope of AIT’s Internet Acceptable Use Policy. It is for individuals to use as they please – for leisure, entertainment, whatever - which is why it is a fee-based utility.

However, laws of the land apply to the UIA. Because the ISP account for the bulk bandwidth will be in AIT's name and the bandwidth itself will be delivered over lines owned by AIT, AIT has the obligation to ensure legal use. E.g., downloading of copyrighted material via UIA access will be an AIT liability.

In order to protect the Institute against potential legal action and to protect our reputation, the IT Committee and Administration have instituted a policy that any illegal use of UIA will be met with an immediate suspension of the offending account for 4 months.  

Misconfiguration of any network device on UIA network can cause disruption of traffic for the other users. Therefore, you are advised to seek help from HelpDesk before connecting any new network device on UIA network.

In order to protect other UIA users against traffic disruption, the IT Committee and Administration have instituted a policy that if the disruption is caused by the misconfiguration of a user's network device, the user's account will be immediately suspended for one month.

Future Additional Bandwidth

Our budget projections indicate break-even within a couple of years followed by a modest surplus. We plan to reinvest the surplus into purchasing more bandwidth. In fact, once the current contract with CAT expires - in a year - we plan to renegotiate with them, as well as competing ISPs, for added bandwidth because the trend seems to be for bulk bandwidth rates to decrease over time.

Read the
Frequently Asked Questions to find answers to most of your questions.