The University of Oxford have banned the use of Spotify, as it has slowed down their web services for academic researchers.
The university has blocked the use of the music-streaming program on computers used on its internal network, according to an article in The Cherwell, one of the University’s student newspapers. This ban will affect students that live in University accommodation who rely on the once high-speed connection, the cost of which is included in their rent payments.
It seems the news has caused somewhat of a stir among students. An unnamed music student said “I use it loads. It’s the most comprehensive collection of classical music in one place.” Elsewhere, the student pressed has deemed it “discrimination against music lovers”. It’s not the first piece of software to be banned by the University: peer-to-peer file sharing is banned, as are Skype and RPGs such as World of Warcraft.
Oxford University Computing Services are yet to formally make any comment about the situation, however, a spokesperson for the University did say “The university provides free internet access for students because it’s an educational resource. If they want to use it recreationally as well that’s no problem unless it uses so much bandwidth that it slows the network down. I’m sure the students would like it if they could have Spotify back but they are getting a free service so they must accept some restrictions.”
Though thousands of students using Spotify will undoutedly slow things down rather, it seems strange that other streaming services, such as BBC’s iPlayer and Channel 4’s 4oD, are still allowed to function. It is also currently unknown how paying subscribers to the Spotify Premium service – which costs £10 per month – will be affected.