St. Thomas students will soon have access to STU’s wireless Internet network across the UNB campus.
STU has adopted Eduroam, a wireless network that allows students to immediately connect to their own campus’ network at any university that uses the program.
IT Services director Dan Hurley was pleased to announce the change.
“Often with technology, you’re trying to fix stuff that breaks, and it seems to make lives more complicated,” he said. “It’s great to be able to make lives better.”
Hurley said STU has offered wireless Internet for over five years. He thinks visitors to other universities having to connect to a guest network or use a different username is inconvenient.
“Several years ago, a bunch of universities in Europe partnered and created one network so someone can travel from one university to another and log in,” Hurley said. Over 3,000 institutions use the network today.
Hurley says that Eduroam will improve STU students’ wireless access at the Harriet Irving Library and around UNB campus.
“We used to use the STU at HIL network with the portal. That will go away around May 1 and you’ll be able to use Eduroam.”
Eduroam has been active at STU for three weeks. The IT help desk staff have been testing the network.
Internet access for STU students has been a struggle. Back in September, STU students were locked out of approximately 40 comupters in the library when UNB made a change that no longer allowed dual login for both UNB and STU students.
Now, UNB plans to close the wireless network available to STU students at the library. Hurley said Eduroam was an easy way to address that issue.
The annual cost for Eduroam membership is $2,400 which Hurley saw as too costly when STU students still had a network provided at the library.
“It’s something we’ve known about that’s been available for a number of years,” he said. “We’ve considered it before and felt it was too expensive.”
Hurley said the annual price tag won’t impact tuition or student fees.
“It’s pretty minor in the overall scale of things,” he said. “It’s less money than what we would be paying to find another solution at the library, so there may even be savings.”
Students currently connect to STU’s wireless network using their username and password. Hurley said that Eduroam will require that students provide their student email address and network password.
“You just include @stu.ca after your username,” he said.
The current STU secure network will remain available, as will the STU guest network. Hurley recommends that students who spend most of their time on campus use the STU secure network.
“If you’re back and forth between STU and UNB often, you might as well stay on Eduroam.”
Hurley hopes that visitors who previously have used STU’s guest network will be able to use Eduroam.
“Some may be visiting from universities that aren’t equipped with Eduroam, so we’ll keep STU guest for that.”