by Divina Paredes

University of Otago gets ‘master key’ to global Wi-Fi

Sep 26, 20132 mins
Cloud ComputingCollaboration SoftwareData Center

The University of Otago has joined an international roaming network so students and staff can access safe, convenient and collaborative wireless network service at thousands of locations worldwide.

The University of Otago is the latest university in New Zealand to join eduroam (education roaming network), which is managed by the Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand, or REANNZ.

Visitors from organisations that are members of eduroam, meanwhile, can use the same service while they are at the university.

The service is described as akin to having a ‘master key to Wi-Fi’ whenever students and staff visit another university. It only requires the users’ home university login credentials.

“If our staff and students are off campus, and at another university or educational facility, getting access to wireless networks is difficult unless you are a member of the eduroam community,” says Mike Harte, director, information technology services, on the key driver for the project.

“There is some work in setting it up, once it is up, it is just another SSID or a Wi-Fi network appearing over our existing Wi-Fi infrastructure,” says Harte.

He says there are discussions on how other institutions like polytechnics and secondary schools in the region can access eduroam services.

REANNZ CEO Steve Cotter says the service cuts down on the administrative work for members offering the service.

Like Harte, he sees potential for the network service to benefit the wider community.

“As New Zealand becomes more interconnected, eduroam can help schools, libraries, museums, and cultural institutions become key building blocks of a borderless, educated society.”

University of Otago is number 9 in the CIO100, the annual report on the largest ICT using organisations in New Zealand

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