On many residential campuses, the largest network of computers is found in the residence halls. With as many as 20,000 students living on some college campuses, each with his or her own Internet connection, the computer services demanded by these students dwarfs that of the combined faculty and staff network on campus.

Developing network computing for residence halls presented some unique challenges. Many college residence halls were built in the 1960s to accommodate a surge in enrollments. The federal government provided low-interest loans for housing construction, and large numbers of residence halls were constructed under these federal programs. The first response to address the demand for residence-hall computing was to install computer labs in residence halls. This approach was less costly than wiring an entire building ...

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