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>  News Releases >   2007 >   August

Changes coming to Dartmouth's wireless network

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 08/27/07 • Sue Knapp • (603) 646-3661

New offerings help maintain access and provide security

Work begins this week to split Dartmouth's single wireless network into four separate services to meet the needs of different groups of users and to also better safeguard the information flowing across Dartmouth's busy computer network.

Dartmouth's wireless computer network will split into four distinct networks.

"The transition to and popularity of wireless technology happened fairly quickly," says Ellen Waite-Franzen, vice president for information technology. "Security of the data has always been a concern, and now we're addressing that."

The four separate wireless networks will be: Dartmouth Secure and Dartmouth Wireless Portal, both of which will provide a private network solely for Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff; Dartmouth Public, which will be available for community members and visitors on campus; and Dartmouth Library Public, which will be for non-Dartmouth users who are physically present in the libraries.

"Dartmouth is committed to preserving public access to a wireless network for anyone present on campus," says Waite-Franzen. "With Dartmouth Public, we are now intentionally making wireless access available as a service to the public—access that had only been an incidental side effect of how the College's own network was operating."

When connecting to Dartmouth's wireless network, users will have a choice of which one to use, all requiring differing levels of authentication.

The Library Public wireless network will serve library patrons, and it will provide access to the collection to anyone physically present in the campus libraries. Many of Dartmouth's library resources are licensed for use only by members of the Dartmouth community and walk-in library patrons, and creating a distinct wireless network for the library allows such conditions to be met while balancing access, service, and security.

To use the Dartmouth Public and the Dartmouth Library Public, users should view the list of available networks on their computers, and choose the one best suited to the situation.

Waite-Franzen and her staff recommend that faculty, staff and students use Dartmouth Secure for their work, as this network will be the most secure. These users will authenticate to this network through special passwords and access tools, such as an e-token or a PKI certificate. This network will encrypt data from the computer to the wireless access points across campus. To obtain a PKI certificate, members of the Dartmouth community should contact their department's computing services consultant or call the computing services help desk at 603-646-2999.

Dartmouth will still provide wireless access to the public. (Photos by Joseph Mehling '69)

The Dartmouth Wireless Portal network is not encrypted and is less secure. Users of this network need to start a Web browser to authenticate using the same credentials used for Blitzmail (the on-campus e-mail program) before using any of the network-based applications.

Kiewit Wireless, the current wireless network, will be shut down after all areas of campus are transitioned to the new wireless networks.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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