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Sunday, May 26, 2024

UC Davis launches new wireless network for traveling students

Last week, UC Davis launched a wireless internet service, Education Roaming (eduroam), which simplifies internet access for students and faculty who commute to different campuses, officials said.

Students and faculty that have a UC Davis Kerberos account can use eduroam when visiting participating institutions. Members use their UC Davis username and password to login, which is verified by UC Davis to access eduroam. The Wi-Fi network provides the same internet connections without involving a separate network for guests.

“The eduroam service allows students to seamlessly access wireless network services when visiting other institutions who have configured eduroam on their campuses,” said Mark Redican, director of communication resources for Information and Educational Technology (IET) at UC Davis, in an e-mail interview.  “A student visiting one of these institutions will have secure wireless access to the internet and other on-line resources without having to register as a guest.”

Eduroam began in Europe as a resource for international research and the education community. Currently, there are a total of 15 American campuses that provide the wireless service.

UC San Diego uses eduroam, while UCLA, UC Berkeley and the UC Office of the President are testing out the wireless providers, stated a press release for IET.

The cost to UC Davis for the installation of the service on campus was minimal. Students and faculty members can use eduroam at no cost, Redican said.

“The primary cost to UC Davis is the configuration and setup associated with providing the service on our campus,” Redican said.

The equipment and services used for eduroam’s wireless internet is the same as MoobileNet, the UC Davis Wi-Fi provider, according to a press release for IET.

Eduroam’s consequences for illegal downloading are similar to that of UC Davis’ mobile network, Redican said. Individuals will be put on a username “black list” and receive temporarily restricted internet access until the accusation is cleared. This restriction will apply to eduroam users.

Students studying abroad can also access eduroam at participating universities by configuring their laptops, Redican said. Students studying abroad will have the same internet access as individuals who are residents of the host university.

“Students who study abroad utilize smart phones that are Wi-Fi only and internet cafes are big in Europe as well,” said Blake Cooper, Education Abroad professional staff member of outreach, marketing and social media. “A lot of students in our program bring their laptops abroad and [eduroam] could possibly take students out of the internet cafes to connect with their folks at home.”

Currently, eduroam has not collaborated with the Education Abroad Center, but it could be a possibility, Redican said.

“At this point, it is the first we’ve heard of eduroam. It would be nice to get more resources and information to find out more about it,” Cooper said.

For more information and services about eduroam, visit eduroamus.org.

ALICIA KINDRED can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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