University of the Philippines Los Baños
Friday, 28 July 2017 11:45

UPLB Internet connection: from ‘mega’ to ‘giga’ fast


FASTER INTERNET CONNECTION. UPLB now enjoys faster Internet connectivity after increasing its bandwidth from 103 Mbps to 2.155 Gbps. Part of the equipment that supports this speed are the servers deployed in several parts of the campus.

The Internet has created a “giant leap” in contemporary society. It has defied the limits of time and space and has promoted speed in many of our activities.

In UPLB, the Internet connection has recently made a “giga” leap: from 103 Megabits per   second (Mbps) in November 2014, the University’s Internet  bandwidth  is  now  at  2.155 Gigabits per second (Gbps).

“The 2.155 Gbps can be looked upon as our capacity to connect to the Internet,” said   Rozano S. Maniaol, director of the Information Technology Center (ITC). “In theory, at one second, a maximum of 2.155 Gigabits of data can be transferred.”

This leap is a result of gradual bandwidth increase that UPLB has acquired from negotiating with its internet service providers, namely: DOST-ASTI, Converge ICT and PLDT; the UP System’s   Support for the eUP Information Systems; and the University’s multimillion peso-project that aims to improve the infrastructure systems that would optimize the UPLB Campus network connection.

The five-phase IT infrastructure project has upgraded the Fiber Optic Cables (FOC) from multi-mode to a more efficient and up-to-date, single- mode-type fiber technology on its Phase 1. Phase 2 has been providing in-building connections to main buildings in the lower campus.

Phase   1   involves   upgrading the core network equipment – border router, core switch, core routers and firewall - suitable to UPLB’s network requirement  and  improving  the  link from the ISP going to the core network. Phase 2 involves upgrading the FOC in the lower campus as well as the telecommunication service entrance in each building.

Phase 1 is nearly complete while Phase 2 started last May and is due to be finished around the third quarter of the year. Planning for Phase 3 is in the works which is for the improvement of the Upper Campus. Phase 4 and 5 are for the IPB/APEC area and the Staff Housing, respectively.

“Every building has at least one distribution switch which is connected to the core network.  The  distribution switch spreads the connection in the entire building through end switches, where  computers  and  access  points are connected. If the distribution switch malfunctions, the whole building’s connection will be affected,” said Maniaol.

During the groundbreaking of Phase 1 in 2016, Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. underscored the role of fast internet connection to the over-all goal of UPLB. “As we seek to establish our position as a leading university in the country and in Southeast Asia, we need Internet facilities that will allow us not only to quickly access information but also to communicate and collaborate easily with our peers in the international community.”

Faculty members, staff, and students testify to the improvement of the UPLB Internet.

Jim Leandro Cano, teaching associate at the Agricultural Systems Institute of the College of Agriculture and   Food   Science,   attests   to   the difference of the Internet speed through the years. “Since the time I graduated in 2014, there has been a huge jump in the Internet speed – from a crawling rate to very quick, fast, and consistent Internet connection,” he said.

Ronan Almeda, a researcher at the Nanotechnology Program, Institute of   Chemistry,   agreed.   “We  had   a notion of the UPLB campus Internet being inadequate and inefficient. However, due to the efforts of the UPLB administration,  there  is  a  significant and great improvement in the campus Internet  connections,”  he  said.  “As a science researcher, I believe that efficient Internet connection is vital in the effective communication of research work.”

Darren Garcia, BS Agribusiness Management student, also felt the increase in Internet bandwidth. “I have witnessed the incredible development in the Internet service of the University. Its speed and reliability has greatly improved. I can now easily access the data needed for my academic works.”

Students   like   Garcia  are   the ones  who  have  benefitted  from  the new campus-wide WiFi System, which has 71 Enterprise-class Access Points installed in the Main Library, Student Union Building, and ten dormitories. According to Maniaol, more Access Points will be installed in every building in the University. (Juan Paolo A. Aquino, with reports from Jessa Jael S. Arana)


(*Originally published on UPLB Horizon, 2017-02, April - June 2017)