Alex residents told: stop gaming!

STUDENT gamers have reacted with anger following accusations that they have caused network disruption in halls of residence on the seafront. Members of Aberystwyth Community of Gamers (ACOG) have voiced concerns about an email which was circulated to residents of seafront accommodation by the Residential Support Coordinator.

The email stated that a significant amount of residents had complained of slow internet speeds and had blamed online gaming as the cause. However, gamers have responded to the accusations on the ACOG Facebook group wall, describing the claims as “ludicrous” and pointing out that online gaming is being “used as a scapegoat”. Included in the email was the relevant extract from the FAQs provided by the University’s Department of Information Services, which states that non-academic use of the university network is allowed as long as it does not “impinge on the bandwidth available to academic users”.

Members of the group have suggested that students who watch online videos are far more likely to affect overall network speed. These suggestions are backed up by a 2009 report published by Ofcom which tested the requisite connection speeds of various internet activities. It found that a typical online multiplayer game needed just 100kbit/s to operate smoothly, whereas streaming standard definition video on BBC iPlayer or YouTube required 800kbit/s – with high definition iPlayer content demanding a massive 3500kbit/s.

A statement issued by Information Services acknowledged that some users are experiencing slow internet speeds at certain times, but doesn’t specify a reason for this, instead pledging to resolve the problem as soon as possible. It is unclear whether any congestion is specific to the seafront, or if it applies to the whole network.