UConn employees and students now have access to secure, free Internet service at thousands of institutions worldwide as part of the University’s participation in a global partnership of universities, research entities, and other organizations.
UConn joined the group, known as eduroam (short for “education roaming”), this spring and started offering connectivity in mid-May. The service allows anyone with a UConn-issued NetID to use those credentials for fully encrypted Internet access at thousands of other institutions that participate in eduroam in more than 60 nations and territories.
The access eliminates the need for users to get guest credentials from the institution they are visiting, and avoids data roaming charges. Access is available through iPhones and iPods in addition to standard laptops, tablets, and other properly configured computers.
It’s expected to be a particularly beneficial service for UConn students in study abroad programs, educators traveling for research trips or conferences, and others who need quick access to a secure Internet hotspot around the globe.
“Being part of the eduroam federation allows UConn to reach out globally to enhance its research and institutional goals,” says Jason Pufahl, UConn’s chief information security officer. He says UConn’s participation came to fruition as part of a collaborative effort by the various departments in the University Information Technology Services office.
UConn students and faculty members started using their credentials right away to access eduroam hotspots in the weeks after UConn’s participation became official on May 10. One professor was so pleased with the new service that she immediately emailed a UConn computer technician to report its success as she logged on through eduroam while visiting the British Museum of Natural History in London.
UConn’s participation in the eduroam federation also will help overseas researchers and international visitors when they come to UConn’s campuses, removing the administrative steps of needing to get a NetID, and enabling them to get access to the Internet quickly so they can continue their work.
While the international access will be beneficial for students and staff during overseas visits, accessing the Internet at other U.S. sites can also be helpful for students studying in their home states during semester breaks, at internships away from UConn’s campuses, or on other trips.
The eduroam collaboration started in Europe in 2003 as a pilot program with six countries participating, and now includes partners at institutions in more than 60 nations and territories worldwide.
Nationally, UConn is among about 100 eduroam participants, including seven other colleges and universities in New England.