Network Quota

What is the "Network Quota"?

The network quota blocks access to all off-campus Internet resources to users who have exceeded their bandwidth utilization quotas. The network quota was developed to protect the academic and research functions of network at Central Michigan University. Without the network quota or other network utilization protection mechanisms in place, the bandwidth available to these academic functions would be extremely limited; this has caused many problems in the past. In addition, the cost to provide this bandwidth has skyrocketed in recent years.



What is bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the total amount of traffic that can be transmitted across a connection in a given period of time.



How did I use this much bandwidth?

Normal web-browsing habits typically will not use enough bandwidth to put a person over his or her network quota. Below is a list of common applications and uses that can consume large amounts of bandwidth:

  • Peer-to-peer and other file sharing applications such as Bittorrent. These file sharing applications allow others to download files from your computer, resulting in a high amount of upload traffic.
  • Video chatting applications such as iChat and Skype.
  • Streaming movies through services such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.
  • Computer viruses, trojans, and worms can also cause your bandwidth utilization to be unusually high.  



Are the contents of my Internet traffic being monitored?

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) does not monitor the content of traffic to and from the Internet. The network quota is based solely on the amount of data transferred between your computer and the Internet.  



Isn't bandwidth free?

No, bandwidth is not free. CMU spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for its Internet connections. As usage goes up, so do the costs.  


​I need full capacity; what can I do?

If you are over your network quota but require higher-speed out-going transfers off campus, there are a number of computer labs available for use on campus -- including the Woldt and Ronan Computer Labs. Public-use computers are also available in the Park Library.  


What is the current limit?

The current limit is set to 200 gigabytes (GB) of total Internet traffic or 100 gigabytes of outgoing Internet traffic in a single week. These numbers may be adjusted based on available bandwidth or costs


What is a gigabyte?

A gigabyte (GB) is a thousand megabytes, or one billion bytes.  



200 GB doesn’t sound like much. Can I get more?

Most users do not come anywhere close to this limit. Usually if they hit this limit, they are excessively downloading files or have their computer configured to serve out material. Exceptions can be made if approved by CMU's network admins.  



When does my network quota get reset?

This is done automatically at the end of the week, usually around 12:05am on Sunday.  



I have classes that use Blackboard. How is that affected?

Currently, on-campus traffic uses a different link that is not limited. There are also several labs on campus and in the residence halls that are available for use.  



What will happen if I try to bypass my network quota?

OIT watches for users bypassing the system. If identified, you will be referred to the Office of Student Life.


For additional assistance, contact the Help Desk at or (989) 774-3662.