Wireless network policy

Approved: February 1, 2013
Last Date of Review: September 5, 2017

1.0  Background

Wireless device usage has increased exponentially in recent years.  It is used everywhere from classrooms to dorms, and is a necessary part of a modern campus.  Wireless technologies are, by nature, easy to deploy but highly sensitive to overlapping frequencies. These characteristics have led, through user naiveté, to numerous conflicts between individual devices and the university network that have negatively impacted network performance for other users.  This document seeks to minimize these conflicts by laying out guidelines and procedures for wireless connectivity.

2.0 Primary wireless network connectivity

2.1.   ITS will provide, as much as technically and financially feasible, a campus-wide wireless network (see definitions, section 4.0). 

2.2.   The goal of this network is to provide secure and stable access for academic use.

2.2.1.   ITS will do the following in implementing a campus-wide wireless network:

a) Manage the wireless spectrum in a manner that ensures the greatest interoperability and roaming ability for all departments, colleges, staff and students wishing to use wireless,

b) Centralize as needed the process of determining identity, authentication, and appropriate levels of security for access to and use of wireless services; and,

c) Ensure that all wireless services deployed on campus will adhere to campus-wide standards for access control.

2.2.2.   ITS will work with departments, colleges, staff, and students to reconfigure or retire wireless hardware that interferes with connectivity or communication (see section 3.2 for academic exceptions).

2.3.   ITS will be solely responsible for planning, deploying, and managing the wireless access points on the primary network.  No other departments or individuals may deploy wireless service or related wireless access points without prior written approval from ITS (see exceptions for academic reasons in section 3.2)
2.4.   For non-roaming equipment or for settings requiring additional bandwidth and/or security, ITS will continue to provide a robust and secure wired network.
2.5.   ITS will provide information accessible to the campus community on anticipated changes to the wireless plans, deployment strategies, and/or management issues. 
2.5.1.      To allow interested parties a chance to provide input, major changes to campus networking connectivity that have the potential to affect scholarship or teaching will be communicated at least two months in advance.

3.0  Conflicting use of the wireless spectrum

3.1.   Many common computer peripherals now come with a wireless access point enabled.  ITS will help alleviate wireless signal overlap by maintaining and disseminating a list of peripherals that do not interfere with the campus wireless network.   Deployed equipment not on this list may need to have the wireless access disabled (see below and 2.2.2). 

3.1.1.      If requested, ITS will work with residence hall staff to identify conflicting equipment and arbitrate disputes that arise.

3.2.   Departmental exceptions to this policy for valid academic reasons are possible for specific technological reasons. 
3.2.1.      ITS will work with departments to resolve wireless conflicts created by any special academic needs.
3.2.2.      Academic departments are asked to contact the Eagle Help Desk when anticipating the need for equipment that could potentially conflict with existing campus wireless technology.

4.0  Definitions

4.1.   Wireless Technology - A technology that uses radio waves to transmit and receive data.

4.2.   Frequencies – The radio channels and frequencies identified in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 wireless standard.

5.0  Responsible Use of Computing Resources

UWL and UW System policies regarding appropriate use of campus networks apply to wireless networks and associated devices.  Inappropriate behaviors that interfere with primary wireless network transmissions may result in disciplinary actions as specified in the responsible use of computing resources:


6.0  Responsible Organization

ITS will share these guidelines with UW La Crosse Administration, the Faculty Senate Academic Technology Committee, Student Academic Technology Committee, Academic Staff Council, Classified Staff Advisory Council, Student Association and ITS Information Security Committee.

7.0  Revision History

7.1.   DRAFT 9/14/2011

7.2.   DRAFT v.2 9/15/2011

7.3.   DRAFT v.3 9/11/2012

7.4.   DRAFT v.4 1/15/2013

7.5.   DRAFT v.5 1/22/2013

7.6.   Approved by ATC v.6 2/1/2013