Notice to all Staff & Students – Free Data Usage for LMS Servers and ZOOM service hosted in the University Network
As you are aware, all the ISPs (SLT, Dialog, Mobitel, LankaBell, Airtel, and Hutch) have enabled free data access to a set of IP addresses of servers that are connected to the LEARN (Lanka Academic And Research Network). These IP addresses include all the LMS servers, other relevant web servers, and the Zoom servers that are hosted within the LEARN network. Hence, there are no data access charges when you access Web servers (websites) and Learning Management Systems (LMS). However, we kindly request you to understand the following limitations when you access the servers.
Access to LMS in the University
When you access the servers of Learning Management Systems (LMS), you will not be billed for data access charges since LMS servers are whitelisted by all Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Zoom – Video Conferencing Service
Zoom is a video conferencing service available on the Internet (outside Sri Lanka) and it is a paid service based on the duration of the video conference. LEARN network has purchased this paid service for public universities to use for academic activities (online teaching, seminars, discussions, and meetings etc). Hence, the staff of universities who have accounts at learn.zoom.us could create online meetings without time restrictions using paid service. It is important to note that only authorized staff could create (hosting) meetings using the facility of learn.zoom.us but anyone who could access the Internet could join such online meetings using the invitation and the meeting password.
It is important to note that the zoom facility is not free and staff/students have to pay for Internet access when they use this service. However, LEARN has allocated some of its servers to webcast zoom streaming data for meetings created through learn.zoom.us service. The present demand for video conferencing is very high and the streaming server sometimes will be assigned outside the LEARN network. Hence, the data charges for Zoom video conferencing will vary depending on the streaming server. If the demand has exceeded the capacity of servers, staff/students may not be able to join/start an online meeting. Hence, we kindly request all users to use these resources of Internet with some control.
Complaints about the Data charges:
If you have been charged for accessing LMS servers in the university, you could complain to the customer service of your ISPs with details/evidence to request a refund. However, you have to provide the details to justify your complaint. For example, the amount of data consumed, time period, date and URL of LMS servers, machine address of the device. If you fail to solve the issue with your service provider, you could submit the complaint to TRC (Telecommunication Regulation Commission) with details to justify your refund.
It is important to note that Zoom service and access to the service will not be free. However, it is possible to get reduced data charges if the streaming occurred through a server on the LEARN network. Unfortunately, this cannot be guaranteed in advance due to the present demand for a zoom facility in the universities. Hence, teachers are recommended to record their lectures and upload them to LMS servers.
If you have a problem with using LMS and these services including Zoom, we kindly request you to contact and inform the faculty/institute coordinator who manages the online services including LMS. Coordinators/Administrators will contact the central administration who manages the network and other online services in the university if there is an issue with valid evidence to take the formal actions.