Faster Internet Access

by C. Y. Kwok

CityU’s own Internet link was upgraded to 10 Mbps shared bandwidth on 7 October, 1999, and it is now connected to UUNET Hong Kong (UUNET is the largest ISP in the world). The upgrade not only provides faster Internet access to staff and students, but also enables the link to be used as a backup for the local HARNET as well as HARNET’s Internet links.

Prior to the upgrade, the link was connected to the NetPlus service of the Cable and Wireless HKT with guaranteed bandwidth of 512 Kbps. The upgrade was intended to increase the Internet bandwidth to 1 Mbps so that the total Internet bandwidth of the university would become comparable with those of the other local universities. A 10 Mbps shared bandwidth would effectively produce at least 1 Mbps equivalent of guaranteed bandwidth under normal situations, but its cost was much less than that of 1 Mbps guaranteed bandwidth. (One major drawback of guaranteed bandwidth is that once the bandwidth is fully utilised, network performance will drop to the floor.)

Currently the 8 local universities are sharing two HARNET Internet links with a total bandwidth of 24 Mbps, from which CityU’s allocation is around 3.2 Mbps. Most of CityU’s Internet traffic is in the incoming direction. After the upgrade, it was found that the total incoming Internet traffic volume has increased to over 6 Mbps during peak hours.