Moaning students at the halls of residence at Royal Holloway, University of London are now happy again after being given improved bandwidth levels.

Students, faced with increased tuition fees, are demanding improved learning facilities from their universities, and getting a broadband service that matches or exceeds their home environment is now part of the equation.

Royal Holloway has 10,000 students and 1,800 staff, and the student halls network link was suffering from congestion due to the heavy demands placed on it by students.

"It's important to deliver quality bandwidth to ensure students enjoy a broadband experience which is at least comparable to what they experience at home, and ideally better," said Nigel Rata, infrastructure manager on the IT service delivery team at Royal Holloway.

"One of the first things new students do when they enter halls is run a speed test on the network, so we are very aware that speedy access is a priority for them and impacts on their levels of satisfaction."

Rata said the university was already using "traffic shaping" through a Blue Coat PacketShaper system, but that it "wasn't capable of meeting the growing challenge".

He said: "We needed something with a faster management interface, especially when reaching operational parameters, and which wasn't limited as to what it can do with dynamic partitions and slicing up bandwidth."

The college tested a pair of Exinda 8760 WAN optimisation systems on the student halls link, which came up to scratch without needing constant adjustment.

Rata said: "We are particularly pleased with the high level of insight we are receiving around what traffic is being consumed, and the amount of bandwidth used for streaming media."

Royal Holloway is also considering using Exinda technology to shape P2P type traffic as part of its copyright infringement policy in order to accurately categorise applications, even if the applications are encrypted.