School of Law to Offer Wireless Network Access; New Wireless Policy in Place

Posted: March 5, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Erick Soricelli

The School of Law plans to offer a wireless network to members of its community this month. The network should be ready for access shortly after spring break, says Derek Kan, manager for advanced network technologies for the Information Technology Unit’s (ITU) Technology Systems Division.

The School of Law’s wireless network is primarily for its students, faculty, staff, and visiting scholars, says Deborah Keene, associate dean and director of the School of Law Library. The library and the National Center for Technology and Law are paying for the network, which is only available within the School of Law space in the Arlington I Building. The technology allows users who have wireless LAN cards in their computers, such as laptops, to connect to the Internet without physically plugging into a connection.

Two existing networks are already in place on the Fairfax Campus, one with access points in certain areas of the Johnson Center and Innovation Hall. Users with Mason Enterprise Messaging Accounts (MEMOs) will be able to access any of the networks. “Most areas in the Johnson Center will have wireless access by the end of March,” Kan says.

George Mason’s new University Policy Number 1302 on wireless use went into effect Jan. 5. The policy requires any university college, department, or division to register with ITU Network Engineering and Technology the locations of all wireless access points, the point of contact for each, and, for the use of a radio frequency spectrum, the means of transmission to connect computers to wireless networks.

Students are prohibited from connecting wireless access points to the George Mason network unless instructed to do so by a department or campus organization. ITU Network Engineering and Technology also has the right to disconnect any access point or network if security is at risk.

Kan says there are further deployment plans for the Student Union Buildings, Fenwick Library, and the Prince William Campus, all tentatively scheduled to go online by the end of 2004 or early 2005.

The Division of Instructional and Technology Support Services (DoIT) will hold a dialogue about wireless networks and security issues on Wednesday, March 10, from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Johnson Center, Room 311. Kan and Randy Anderson, Network Engineering and Technology, will also discuss how to get started using it. To register, visit the web site.

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