Bye Bandwidth

One day, Andover students will tell their kids that when we were in high school, we were only allowed to download one gigabyte per week. Our precocious children will probably then ask, “What’s a gigabyte?” Technology is advancing at an astounding rate, and, up until this year, Phillips Academy’s internet policy has been inconveniently out of date. The administration’s decision to lift the bandwidth limit and allowed students relatively free use of the internet (while still adhering to the Acceptable Use Policy) is the right one. Although it has been a few years coming, Andover still seems to be miles ahead of some of our peer schools, which uphold overprotective and restrictive policies, such as shutting off access to the internet after 11 p.m. The internet is a resource – almost like air or food, at this point – and students who abuse it, by watching shows during study hours or over-dosing on facebook, will face the same repercussions as anyone with bad study habits. An unnecessary additional penalty has been eliminated, and once again the school has made a decision in line with its basic values: trust and independence for its students.