Eduroam and wifi

We have been doing a lot of work recently on our wifi. When we first installed our system the requirements were quite simple. People would want to bring in a laptop or maybe an iPad and connect it to do some work. Now the world has moved on. We normally have about 2000 devices connected at any one time across the college. As I write (on a quiet Friday morning) I can see that;

  • 59% of the devices currently connected to the wifi are iPhones
  • 12% are Android
  • around 3% iPods
  • 2% ipads
  • 3% MacBooks,
  • 4% windows devices
  • around 18% ‘others’

This is further complicated by our international residential users in Caburn House, who use the wifi as the primary means of communicating with home and accessing entertainment from their own culture.

Our original models for how people connect and which services they can access don’t really fit very well anymore and we will be changing them shortly. More on this later when we have finished working out exactly what is required.

However, there are two positive developments that will be available soon. One is that we have been replacing all of our oldest wireless access points. The new ones will cope with the newer, faster standards (802.11n and 802.11ac) and should improve the service quite dramatically. So far Kings Building has been updated, along with some of the Hammond / Construction centre area. The ALC is next, along with Southover in Lewes.

The other development is the introduction of eduroam. Click on the link and watch the video for a good explanation of what this is. In short it is a means of visiting other organisations and using their wifi using your Sussex Downs credentials. This started out in Universities but is now becoming widely adopted in FE and other sectors. Our HE students can connect here and at Brighton without needing two sets of credentials. Visitors from other education providers will be able to connect to our network without a guest account. The pan-Sussex public sector network (LINK) should be rolling it out soon so it should be available in libraries, council buildings and so on. This should be available soon so watch this space for more news.