Dorm Internet fee may decrease to $8

Lindsey Reed

The price for Internet access in dorms may not be as high as expected.

The previously proposed $12-per-month fee for Internet access in dorms may decrease to $8, said Brian Kuster, director of Housing and Residence Life.

“We’ll still have business quality Internet access,” he said.

It will cost HRL $324,000 for next year’s Internet access, Kuster said.

The state currently provides Western with access to the Internet for free, but that will change next semester. Internet access outside of the dorms will be covered under the Information Technology budget.

The university will purchase Internet access through the new state contractor, Alltel.

Richard Kirchmeyer, vice president for Information Technology, said the entire campus should see some increase in speed in June as Alltel begins offering the Internet access. But that speed would not be as fast as the proposed dorm Internet access, he said.

The $8 fee will not be reduced, Kirchmeyer said.

“Anything less wouldn’t get that quality speed,” he said.

Kirchmeyer said the Internet changes could be made as soon as HRL OKs it.

“It won’t take long to implement it,” he said.

The state previously provided 30 megabits per second for the Internet access, and the proposal would upgrade it to 45 mbs.

The Internet fee proposal would also allow for someone to be hired to troubleshoot network problems in the dorms, he said.

Part of the original proposal was to upgrade the Internet cable fibers in some of the dorms.

Kirchmeyer said that project will be put on hold, but it will still have to be addressed eventually.

That $50,000 project would upgrade the CAT 3 cables in dorms to CAT 6 cables, he said.

Student Government Association has a resolution up for vote tomorrow that opposes the broadband expansion fee – at least for now.

The legislation cites that students have new fees to manage from tuition increases, and not all students own computers in their dorms.

Radcliff sophomore Katie Dawson, co-chair of the Student Affairs committee, said SGA recently did an Internet survey with a sampling of 400 students. About 89 students responded.

The survey had an overwhelming percentage of students that were currently satisfied with their Internet service, she said.

Dawson said the resolution was written while the fee was expected to be $12.

She said she thinks the decrease won’t change most opinions.

The resolution wouldn’t prevent future SGA bodies from supporting an Internet fee, she said.

Reach Lindsey Reed at [email protected]