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Hanging up on free service

Students who have free access to USF’s dial-up modem as their Internet service will have to start paying a fee on July 1.The modem will come with a monthly charge expected to be $5.99, said Claire Robinson, assistant vice president for planning policy analysis and information technology.

Robinson said the modem, which is provided by Academic Computing, costs about $200,000 to support the system and since it was cut from the budget they will have to use money from other sources.

“We are going to do a large communication campaign to notify students,” Robinson said. “We will ask students to consider there are other things we could have closed, such as open labs and access to free (computer) classes.”

Robinson said that faculty and staff will be charged the monthly fee as well, but only the students who live off campus will be charged.

“Students who live on campus are automatically connected to the network,” Robinson said.

For those who live off campus, Robinson said they will have the choice of paying the monthly fee or using another Internet service such as America Online or Roadrunner.

Robinson said the USF modem offers students, faculty and staff a basic service to access university related Web sites or any site that is not related to USF.

Robinson said that some students may find that USF’s Internet provider is still cheaper regardless of the new charge because it will allow students unlimited access unlike other services.

Unlimited access to AOL is $23.90 per month and Roadrunner is $44.95 per month and includes cable and a DSL provider starts at $39.99 per month.

“What we’re seeing is our deals will be better,” she said.

  • Contact Grace Agostinat