LONDON — Tech firms are offering gigabit internet speeds to thousands of students across the UK but the new infrastructure has a catch: students need to be part of the consolidation network before they can access the new high-speed internet.
For students who are enrolled in courses in colleges or universities, however, that doesn’t mean they will automatically get a gigabit connection.
Instead, students will need to pay to join the consolidation networks.
That is not only a big headache for universities, but for those students, it will mean the cost of going online is going up.
In a bid to save money, some tech companies are offering a discount for students to sign up for the consolidation services, which include the new network.
But for those who are eligible for a gigabyte connection, the cost is $20 a month for those on the high-bandwidth network.
The price will go up to $40 a month, if students have a family member enrolled in a university.
Tech companies including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter, among others, are offering to pay for the services, in part because it is a competitive process.
But in a bid not to discourage students from joining the consolidation, the companies have been offering discounts on the internet speeds they offer to their students.
Google says its students who have a connection on the consolidation system will have a gigabeat connection.
Facebook says it offers its students free internet access, which will be free for all students.
Microsoft says it has an offer for $40 per month for students enrolled in its online courses, which is a discounted rate for students who do not have a high-school degree.
Amazon says its online students will get the $20 discount.
Twitter is also offering students free access to its internet service, which includes gigabit service for students with a high school degree or higher.
Google and Facebook also offer free gigabit connections for students.
The move is part of a larger trend of higher-priced internet services being offered to students across Britain.
For instance, internet service providers have started charging students for faster broadband speeds.
But some universities, including London’s Queen Mary University, say the price is too high, and they are calling on companies to lower the price.