UTSA gaining access to city’s improved broadband network

UTSA 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.