Idahos interstates and major highways arent the
only avenues that have become crowded lately. Congestion on
the Idaho Transportation Departments information highway
also is becoming more congested to the point that users
are experiencing reduced access time at work.
Like highways, ITDs Internet connection has limited
capacity, and overuse or inappropriate use at peak times slows
down the system, making legitimate uses more difficult and
time consuming, explains Forrest Anderson of Information Services
One of the issues is that we have a direct link to
the Internet through the Department of Administration,
Anderson said. All users, not just on our system, but
also outside the department, compete for the same bandwidth.
Heavy use by ITD employees ends up competing with other state
employees on the state system. Were all on the same
five sites accessed
by ITD computers
Feb. 21-27, 2004
2. msn.com, 96,323
3. ad.doubleclick.net (advertising), 67,164
4. include.ebaystatic.com, 52,158
ar.atwola.com (America Online), 34,058
Most professional and business use of the Internet can be
accommodated without problems, Anderson says. But special
applications that provide computer users with constant updates
throughout the day such as regular weather and stock
market reports, sports scores and chatroom exchanges
tie up a portion of the bandwidth whenever the computer
Many users mistakenly believe they are not accessing the
Internet if their web browser is not open. Thats not
the case, Anderson emphasizes. Computer programs still can
access and retrieve information from the Internet without
Anderson is especially concerned about the growing trend
by ITD computer users to access online radio sites
streaming music, sporting events or talk-show
programs via the Internet. The streaming process, which
involves capturing digital radio programs, loading them into
a buffer and replaying them over the computers
speakers, is a major drain on the available bandwidth.
Even a small number of the estimated 700 computers at Headquarters
can clog the digital pipeline to the point it impedes legitimate
use if they are streaming audio and video, Anderson said.
IS advises computer users to remove automatic information
retrieval programs from their computers, including the voracious
weatherbug that provides regular updates throughout
the day of weather conditions and forecasts. Unless it is
used to aid highway maintenance, such weather retrieval probably
Anderson reminds ITD employees their use of computers and
Internet access is governed by department and state policy.
Among other provisions, ITDs policy says:
Access to the Internet is a tool for meeting the business
needs of the Agency. Internet access is considered state property
and the Agency has the right to monitor the use of such property
at any time. Therefore, users should not have any expectation
of privacy as to their Internet usage via state computers
The primary purpose of Internet use is to conduct official
business. Employees may occasionally use the Internet for
individual, nonpolitical purposes on their personal time,
if such use does not violate the terms and conditions of this
policy or interfere with state business.
Users may not download, store, transmit, or display
any kind of image or document on any department system that
violates federal, state or local laws and regulations.
Those limitations apply to all ITD computer users, including
those in district offices and remote locations.
The following Internet use is strictly prohibited: