Campus, News

BU bringing live TV streaming pilot to campus

A trial run of Xfinity On Campus is being rolled out this week, which will offer live TV streaming to a group of 3,000 students. ILLUSTRATION BY DANIEL KOOL/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Live TV streaming will be available to 3,000 Boston University students through an Xfinity On Campus pilot program launching Monday, university officials said.

BU Housing will be running a pilot program testing the practicability of the Xfinity On Campus service for 3,000 students from Warren Towers and 10 Buick St., Paul Riel, the associate vice president of Auxiliary Services, said. If the pilot goes well, the school intends to expand the program to all residential students.

“If it proves to be successful and we believe that it will be, then our plan is to roll it out in January when students are returning from winter break,” Riel said.

Xfinity On Campus is currently available at other Boston-area schools, including Northeastern University, Boston College, Emerson College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Riel said students who have been selected to participate in the pilot will be able to access the service using their name and student ID number.

“Students within Warren Towers and students within 10 Buick [will] receive an email from us very shortly announcing the pilot and giving them information on how to sign up for it [and] so forth,” Riel said.

Riel said the pilot program’s purpose is to test the Xfinity system to make sure it works for BU students and to make sure BU’s network can handle the volume of students using the service.

“That’s really the reason we went with those two buildings, large populations,” Riel said. “We have first-year students living in Warren Towers, and we have upper-class students living in 10 Buick, right, so there’s some diversity in terms of the populations.”

As soon as the Xfinity service proves to be successful in the trial, such an online streaming service will enable students to stream live TV. Riel said because of this program, students will be able to watch live shows directly on their laptops, smartphones and tablets anytime and anywhere on campus.

“You’re also now able to use it on multiple devices,” Riel said, “so Android and iPhones and any kind of laptops, iPads, any other device you have.”

Riel said the cost of the service will be included in students’ housing fees.

“It’s like the water is on, the powers on, the heat’s on,” Riel said. “Those kind of things are all part of the rent.”

BU Spokesperson Colin Riley said he thinks students will appreciate access to Xfinity On Campus.

“I think students will be excited to see that the university is testing out this service,” Riley said.

Allison Suarez, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she thinks the service is a great idea.

“It sounds like a very interesting concept,” Suarez said. “It seems very beneficial to students.”

Charles Zhou, a freshman in CAS, said the Xfinity service will benefit students who do not own a TV and allow students to watch live sports games anywhere on campus.

“It is a very great initiative the school is taking right now because it is falling in a trend that people nowadays don’t watch cable anymore,” Zhou said. “Especially we as students, a lot of students don’t actually own a TV. So it will be very helpful if we can just watch on our phone or laptop.”

Chauncey Nicholas, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said he thinks access to TV can be a relief to students after a long day of studying.

“I think it’s a great idea for students especially when they are doing homework in their downtime,” Nicholas said. “So I think it’s a good idea to test itself for the future.”

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