EDUROAM streamlines Internet access for visiting academics, students

The new wireless service known as EDUROAM (education roaming), officially implemented by the College’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) a week ago, allows students and faculty members to easily connect to off-campus WiFi. Featuring thousands of member institutions in 54 countries worldwide, EDUROAM is one of the leading forms of communication in the educational community.

Before OIT added this new network upgrade, visiting students and professors were not able to access the College’s WiFi. Without the credentials of on-campus students, joining a secure network was not a viable option. However, the recent implementation of EDUROAM allows visiting academics to use their login credentials from their home campus, such as a specific email address and password, to access the Internet of a different campus. To operate the service, users simply select a network SSID as they would when connecting to Purple Air, and EDUROAM automatically sends the login information back to their home institutions for verification. Thus, instead of inputting specific forms of authentication for specific colleges, members of EDUROAM only need one fixed username and password. As long as it is available and open for general use, EDUROAM provides a facilitating medium for anyone with proper credentials to establish their respective wireless connections. This means that members of the College can also now easily use their Internet credentials at other institutions that participate in EDUROAM.

OIT successfully created a public entry to the College’s EDUROAM service in a much shorter time than it took to plan such an addition. The College faculty first became interested in a more uniformly branched network after discovering that many European institutions, for optimum convenience, use EDUROAM as their default service. To ensure that the update would be just as helpful to the College’s community, EDUROAM was officially released only after considerable research and discussion weighing its costs and benefits.  Eventually, with the help of its staff, OIT invoked a new method for the College to stay up-to-date with the current student and faculty resources. “Oxford students from our study abroad program can now use [EDUROAM] on their campus, which is much more convenient for them,” Ed Nowlan, OIT director of networks and systems, said. “It’s all secure and encrypted, and it wasn’t all that difficult to set up after fixing a few bugs, so hopefully more institutions in the U.S. will also start using EDUROAM.”

As the world of academia’s communication becomes increasingly more digital and user-friendly, even a relatively simple concept such as EDUROAM can benefit thousands of people who need reliable Internet.

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