Oxford University bans students from using Spotify

Free streaming use had crippled connections in halls

Oxford University students have been banned by authorities from using free music streaming service Spotify because its popularity had crippled connections in halls.

Students living in university accommodation are entitled to free internet access – but Spotify‘s popularity there had put a strain on connection speed so Oxford University Computing Services added it to the proscribed list of services last week (beginning January 11), reports university newspaper Cherwell.

The paper reported that students were not warned that the service would be banned before the move was made. Inconsistencies in the ban have been highlighted, with some students finding they can access the service through wireless or ethernet connections while others can’t.

A spokesperson for OUCS said: “Bandwidth that seems insignificant for one user will soon add up when scaled up to the many thousands of users connected to Oxford University ‘s networks. It is one thing attempting to justify a network upgrade on the basis of a genuine academic requirement [but another for Spotify].”

Some students have questioned the need for a ban, quibbling how often the service is really used.

“It’s not as if every single person is on it every single hour of the day,” one anonymous student in university accommodation said.