Network traffic

Summary

To help reduce the cost to the College of network traffic:

  1. Avoid downloading non-work related videos and MP3s from the Internet

  2. Minimise use of audio/video streaming, and

  3. Consult the IT Office before running an FTP or web server

Explanatory information and further details

The College has to pay for its share of usage of the University's JANET link. The College is understandably concerned about the level of use of this link and will recover the cost of unreasonable network traffic from the users concerned. The University Information Services provides information on a daily basis about levels of use, broken down to the institution level and even to the individual IP address level. Thus, knowing their IP addresses, users of the network can see whether their use is excessive compared with the norm. See http://www.cam.ac.uk/localusersonly/cs/netdiv/usage/janet/item/byhost/00166/ .

There are a number of popular applications which can cause surprisingly large amounts of network traffic. These applications fall into two main types: applications for viewing streaming multimedia (e.g. streaming audio or video, MP3 files) such as RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, Winamp and many other MP3 players, and applications for communicating with, or sharing files with, other people such as ICQ, IRC clients such as mIRC etc. It is appreciated that some students may wish to use such applications for academic purposes such as listening to foreign language radio stations via the Internet and accessing certain music archives. However, note that instances of excessive use may be charged for unless justified on academic grounds post hoc. Sources and destinations are monitored as well as traffic levels.

The above lists are not exhaustive and any application not listed above which falls into either of the two categories is subject to the same restrictions.

P2P software, which facilitates the transfer of files on your computer to a large number of sites and/or individual users all over the world are prohibited, and users found to be using such applications are liable to be disconnected. Note that some of these applications will automatically configure your computer for the sharing of files, merely by using them to download files from the Internet. If you are in any doubt over whether it is safe for you to use a particular program for the downloading or retrieval of files or information from the Internet, please contact the IT Office for advice.

Any application which allows you to share your files with other users is subject to the same restrictions as FTP and WWW servers, most importantly explicit permission for its use is required from the IT Office. The Caths conditions of connection are to be found with the application form.

Note that the transmission of material which violates any copyright restrictions is explicitly prohibited by the JANET AUP, and is also illegal - many commonly available MP3 files violate copyright restrictions. Note also that transmission of materials such as videos and MP3 files over JANET is also prohibited by the JANET AUP, unless they can be shown to be "in furtherance of the aims and policies" of the University.

Thank you for your co-operation.