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Southern Miss, Xfinity link up in student recruitment game

By JACK WEATHERLY

It’s not exactly new. Some universities have been providing digital devices and services to students for nearly a decade.

But the University of Southern Mississippi is the first four-year school in the state to offer Comcast’s Xfinity on Campus as part of room and board for the 3,600 students who live on campus.

That allows them to watch live TV and on-demand cable services on their laptops, tablets and smartphones.

“Comcast, with their Xfinity on Campus offering, provides USM with an advantage recruiting resident students,” Keith Hill, director of operations and infrastructure at the university, said in a release.

Of the 12,000 students at the Hattiesburg campus, 3,600 will be living on campus

Comcast has placed Xfinity in about two dozen campuses in the past year, marketing Vice President Alex Horwitz said in an inteview.

Among those are Morehouse College in Atlanta, the Savannah College of Art and Design, Lipscomb University and Tennessee State, both in Nashville.

Southern Miss’ main competitors are Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

Mississippi State has a contract with MaxxSouth Broadband and “we are open to whatever they offer,” said Dr. Ann Bailey, director of housing and residence life.

Of the fall enrollment at the Starkville campus, which will be between 20,000 and 21,000, a 100 percent occupancy rate is expected in 5,300 units, Bailey said.

The school said in a prepared statement that “the University offers cable television, networking and telephone services through internal systems.”

Ole Miss will have 5,524 students living on campus in the fall. The school’s enrollment last year was just shy of 20,000 but the enrollment for this fall is not yet available.

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