On-campus students will no longer have access to cable or streaming services provided by Campus Living after June 30, 2022.
The decision to discontinue cable and streaming services comes at the recommendation of a campus-wide task force on providing video and entertainment services ahead of the cable and streaming contract expiration in June, according to Campus Living Assistant Director for Communications and Marketing Jessica Kane.
UB currently provides on-campus students with streaming services on “Stream2,” a program that allows students to browse ‘popular channels’ on any device. Previously, Campus Living offered students the option to stream HBO before canceling in 2018.
Kane also cited data from a 2019 cable survey of residential students. The survey showed that even though 56% of students had a TV in their room and 45% of students received service for that TV from coaxial cables, the overwhelming majority of respondents utilized personal streaming accounts not provided by Campus Living. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they used Netflix, followed closely by 88% who used YouTube.
Kane added that the survey results supported what the focus group also recommended — that Campus Living cease the use of the traditional coaxial cable offering in favor of ensuring that the WiFi, and its bandwidth, is strong enough to support streaming services.
A double in Ellicott Complex, South Campus or Governors Complex cost $8,952 in the 2021-22 school year. The rate for the same accommodations is expected to go up during the 2022-23 academic year to $9,131 despite the removal of the cable from the housing plan. The rate currently includes utilities, streaming services, internet, laundry, and professional support, according to Campus Living.
Currently, UB students pay an annual $430 technology fee, some of which goes toward campus internet.
Kane says Campus Living plans to redirect the funds previously allocated to streaming and cable toward upgrading other aspects of the residence halls.
“The university works hard to minimize costs to students. We continually look for ways to reduce costs for services that are not expected by students and reinvest them into areas that are,” Kane said. “The savings realized through [the] sunsetting of UB provided coaxial cable and streaming services will be reinvested into the residence halls and apartments to make necessary upgrades to building infrastructure and improvements such as flooring, furniture, and lounge renovations.”
Julie Frey is a senior news/features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Frey is a senior news/features editor at The Spectrum. She is a political science and environmental studies double major. She enjoys theorizing about Taylor Swift, the color yellow and reading books that make her cry. She can be found on Twitter @juliannefrey.