Use of wireless technologies
In 2002-06, UCIST
established general principles for the use of
wireless-LAN (WLAN) technologies at
UW. IST is responsible for the
overall campus administration of these technologies, subject to the advice and
recommendations of the Campus Network Advisory Group ( CNAG
- All users must follow the Guidelines for use of wireless spectrum (see below).
- All users must be authenticated by a service at least as secure as the one that is currently used by uw-wireless.uwaterloo.ca
- All WLANs must accept (at least) the UWdir and the Waterloo Nexus userid/password authentication credentials.
- All WLANs should be available for use by all members of the UW campus community. Any exceptions will require authorization by the appropriate UCIST representative.
- Transmission via existing 802.11 wireless technologies is not secure. Users are responsible for pursuing their own end-to-end encryption (eg: the use of SSL to secure applications such as login, file transfer, e-mail clients, etc).
Private WLANs are expected to be the exception,
not the rule. For example, faculty members exploring wireless technologies in
their research may need a private WLAN in order to explore bandwidth problems.
So that the university administration is kept informed of the research and can
help reduce potential interference with the production WLANs, the researcher is
requested to direct the matter to the Associate Provost, Information Systems
and Technology, who will seek advice from CNAG on an appropriate response.
Guidelines for use of wireless spectrum
IEEE 802.11 wireless networking utilizes the 2.4
GHz and the 5 GHz radio spectrum. The university therefore requests that use of
all other 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz devices be discontinued on university property. We
actively monitor use of the airspace for potential interfering devices, and
disable any which have not been authorized.
Potential problems could result from devices
using the same radio frequencies as the UW wireless network. Wireless
transmissions within these bands conform to the IEEE 802.11 DSSS (Direct
Sequence Spread Spectrum) wireless LAN specification; 802.11b and 802.11g use the unlicensed
2.4 GHz Industrial/Scientific/Medical (ISM) band, and 802.11a uses the 5 GHz
band. Certain other "wireless" devices exist in the market place that
also employ the same bands and can cause interference to users of the wireless
network. These devices include, but are not limited to other IEEE 802.11
wireless LAN devices,
"Bluetooth" devices, cordless telephones, cameras, and audio
In order to assure the highest level of service
to the users of wireless network, the university requests cooperation from all
members of the campus community in minimizing the potential interference from
those devices. The university requests that use of all other devices in these
two bands be discontinued in university-owned buildings. In cases where the
device is being used for a specific teaching or research application, support
staff will work with faculty to determine whether there are circumstances under
which use of the device may still be accommodated without causing interference
to wireless network users.
If you think you have an existing system that
may use radios frequencies in these bands for transmission or you are planning
to purchase a wireless device and you are uncertain if it employs such radios,
please contact your faculty computing unit, the IST Help Desk at x4357, or send mail to
. They can assist in determining if such devices will
cause interference with the wireless network. See the statement on the Use of UW Computing and Network Resources
, which mentions issues
related to responsible use of shared resources, which includes these radio
Maintained by IST Network Services for CNAG
in consultation with UCIST
Approved by UCIST April 4, 2008