January 17, 2014 by Devon Harman
Drexel University will be one of the first universities to offer Xfinity On Campus, a service that will allow residence hall occupants to view live television from their laptops, tablets and phones while connected anywhere on campus.
Resident assistants will be the first to access a trial of Xfinity On Campus, beginning Jan. 20. Pending service performance, Xfinity On Campus is anticipated to then be available to all residents in Calhoun, Caneris, Kelly, Millennium, Myers, North, Stiles, Towers and Van Rensselaer residence halls and shortly thereafter, be available to Race Street Residences.
Residents will access the live television programming from their personal devices using an “easy-to-navigate, interactive guide,” according to Ken Blackney of Drexel’s Office of Information Resources and Technology. The trial will also include the Xfinity On Demand service and will provide residents the option to purchase subscriptions such as HBO, Starz and the Sports & Entertainment Tier, which includes programs like the National Football League RedZone.
According to Drexel IRT, this will be the most significant upgrade to the university television service since the implementation of Comcast SportsNet.
Regarding the partnership with Comcast and the new service, John Bielec of Drexel IRT said, “Comcast is evolving from a cable company to a technology and media provider.”
Just as standard landline telephone services have evolved to include advanced wireless voice services, data and text messaging, video content provided by Comcast is expected to make advancements in terms of quality, quantity and convenience.
Bielec continued, “With Drexel residence students having one [gigabyte] connectivity and a campus with 3,000 fifth-generation wireless access points, Comcast gains a great platform to develop and test a variety of new services delivered over the Internet and via wireless technology. At the same time, Drexel students will be the first to experience and shape the evolution of future video services.”
Later this year, Comcast will also upgrade Drexel’s traditional cable TV system. Students will then be able to view digital cable TV in lounges and private rooms. The upgrade will provide “clearer channels, superior audio, and new standard and high-definition channels,” according to Drexel IRT. The upgrade is anticipated for summer 2014.