Residential Services has settled the fate of NUTV, but it has still not decided upon a new entertainment platform for on-campus residences. The streaming service will be shut down on July 31.
“The utilization rate was below 10 percent,” Paul Riel, executive director of Residential Services said. “We spend a lot of money on it, but nobody’s using it.”
The future of NUTV has been debated by the Information Technology Student Advisory Committee since 2011, according to the minutes posted to the committee’s website. For years, students have complained about the service’s reliability and channel offerings, and have looked to alternatives.
For the 2013-14 school year, Residential Services will allocate the NUTV budget toward improving the range and bandwidth of the wireless network in residential buildings.
“Let’s get that system up and running and get it to a level of quality and consistency that it needs to be,” Riel said. “Everyone has iPads and 4G phones. Everyone has devices that require more and more wireless technology. The current system that’s deployed now is not able to keep up with that demand.”
At the same time, Residential Services will seek a new entertainment platform, but they are still considering multiple options, including on-demand streaming services and cable access in all rooms.
The IT Student Advisory Committee has urged Residential Services to replace NUTV with an on-demand streaming service, according to former ASG Technology vice president Ethan Romba.
After selecting a service, Residential Services would negotiate a bulk package for on-campus residents. Riel said the conversation about choosing a service and negoitiating with them is in “its infancy stages.” Hulu Plus, Netflix Instant and Amazon Instant Videos are among the services being considered.
While residents might be more concerned about each of the services’ offerings, Residential Services is prioritizing affordability. The alternative platform will have to be competitively priced so that Residential Services does not have to add premium fees to the rent, according to Riel.
After NUTV shuts down, residence halls will continue to have cable television delivered to lounges and other common spaces through a bulk services agreement with Comcast, Riel said.
The university will begin testing for weaknesses in the wireless infrastructure over the summer. There is currently no timeline for adding an alternative entertainment platform.