UUTSA is gaining more access to the
San Antonio Area Broadband Network (SAABN) through agreements made between the
City of San Antonio and CPS Energy, allowing the campus to have an increased
level of interconnectivity between the UTSA Main, Downtown and HemisFair Park
campuses.

The expanded network will improve
the speed and reliability of the networks that UTSA libraries and classrooms
use, reducing the hiccups experienced when massive amounts of data are being
accessed, such as video media. This will not have an effect on the Air Rowdy
service, although UTSA Chief Information Officer Kenneth Pierce said, “The Air
Rowdy system was also recently upgraded.”

On Feb. 13, Mayor Julián Castro and
City Councilwoman Leticia Ozuna of District 3 announced an initiative that will
allow several local libraries, hospitals, government agencies and universities
to have access to the SAABN. Pierce said, “SAABN provides a higher level of
connectivity between the Downtown, 1604 and Texan Cultures Institute.” With
this greater connectivity between campuses comes the opportunity for new
partnerships and research that would require more bandwidth, similar to how
many other colleges have used other bandwidth resources.

With the development of the
university and its growing student body comes a greater demand for more
information to be readily available, and this project is designed to meet the
needs for “faster data acquisition and access to video media,” said Pierce. The
infrastructure currently in place will allow UTSA to continue to thrive with
increasing enrollment.

The initiative, announced by Castro
and Ozuna, will utilize infrastructure that CPS Energy installed in the late
1990s.

Until now, this infrastructure,
consisting mainly of fiber optic network that allows more information to be
transferred simultaneously, had remained largely unused. Since this infrastructure
is already in place, costs involved in accessing it will be low and, according
to Pierce, “the links [that] are already in place for the Downtown Campus” will
continue to be implemented in the near future.

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