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What are the bandwidth requirements/user limits of video conferences?

Question asked by Daryl Ferguson on Nov 15, 2017
Latest reply on Nov 15, 2017 by Kelley L. Meeusen

I work in the IT department of a high school/college/seminary. I'm looking for some clarification on the function and bandwidth requirements regarding Canvas conferences. Specifically, I’m looking to find the limits of the conference system, and what we could expect if one of our faculty wants to have a video conference with 10/20/30 students, all with live video at the same time. How much can the system handle etc..  If there is a document, article or webpage about this, please feel free to direct me there. I’ve been unable to find it :).


I have also been digging around on the BigBlueButton site and found some information there. Is that relevant to this discussion? I understand that is the system used by Canvas. ( )This document has a section on Bandwidth Requirements – for running a server and as a user.


For a server, they recommend “at least 100Mbits/second upload and download”. As a school who uses Canvas, does this mean Canvas (Instructure?) is considered the “server” in our context? (and does Canvas have 100Mbit/sec up/down?)


Or are we actually hosting the video conference ourselves when a teacher creates the conference? Just trying to confirm where this load is being carried.


If our own servers are not hosting the BigBlueButton server, then we’re all considered “users” correct – including the teacher? In that case – to do what my professor is planning - all students/teacher would need the basic “user” recommended requirement for upload (.5Mbit up), but download bandwidth would need to be roughly .25Mbit x number of students? (IE - 20 students plus teacher: 20 x .25 = 5Mbit download capacity)

Obviously those are rough numbers – and assuming 320x240 resolution. Am I on the right track? Is there a hard limit on the number of users in a video conference? If there is documentation on this that I’ve missed this in my searching, please feel free to direct me there :). Thanks for any clarifications you can provide.