1. How are the caps applied?

All caps are applied on a per-client basis. The figures quoted below are the expected data rates that any individual wireless client would not be expected to exceed.

2. What is the cap?

We currently offer an ADSL type experience to clients using Wireless at Oxford. Data rates to the Internet are limited to 8Mbps download and upload. There are some exceptions which are listed below.

3. HFS Backup

We do not apply a Data Rate limit on traffic to or from the HFS servers. Please review the HFS documentation for further information.

4. Peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic

Please see the ICT regulations on P2P traffic. We do not currently block identifiable P2P traffic, but rate limit it to 12 Kbps in either direction. This does not represent an endorsement of the protocol; we are following best practice guidelines by the application firewall manufactures.

Also note that there are additional regulations for wireless networks to which all users and service providers must adhere.

5. Why do we cap?

The cap was introduced at the request of IT officers for three reasons:

  1. There is an administrative burden for IT officers when dealing with copyright infringement notices. If these are generated by users of the OUCS centrally provisioned wireless service the issue is compounded, as the officers have responsibility for their users’ conduct yet no control over the network.
  2. Wireless Access Points (WAPs) do not provide any mechanism to ensure fair use of the available bandwidth. It is possible for a bandwidth intensive application to negatively impact other users’ experience.
  3. With modern 802.11n access points, compatible clients may saturate a 100Mbps connection within a College or department network.

These limits were presented to and approved by the Network Advisory Group, which discusses network issues within the collegiate University and has representation from a variety of Colleges and departments.

If you have any comments about this please contact us at networks@oucs.ox.ac.uk.