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Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024
The Observer

OIT provides update on new Wi-Fi arrangements

Last spring, the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) announced that the University would change its main Wi-Fi network from “ND-secure” to “eduroam.” Since the transition to the new network over the summer, OIT has encouraged students to switch to eduroam, in place of Notre Dame’s guest network, “ND-guest.”

“The change to use eduroam for secure wireless access has gone smoothly,” Katie Rose, OIT’s senior director of user services, said in an email. “Approximately half of the devices on campus use eduroam instead of ND-guest. The biggest challenges have been making sure people know to use eduroam and also making sure that they know why they should.”

There were two secure Wi-Fi networks on campus last year — ND-secure and eduroam — in addition to ND-guest. Switching over to just one secure and one guest network has improved Wi-Fi service, Rose said.

“The two secured networks actually caused some conflicts that degraded performance, and the OIT received a lot of feedback about wireless being slow,” she said. “Since consolidating the secured networks to just eduroam, we have seen much more reliable performance and faster speeds, especially as you move from one space to another.”

Students should switch over to eduroam rather continuing to use ND-guest in order to fully benefit from the University’s online resources, Rose explained.

“Eduroam is a secure network, so your wireless traffic is encrypted to protect your information,” she said. “It also is treated like a trusted part of campus, so you can access more services from eduroam than you can from ND-guest.”

Maintaining Notre Dame’s wireless networks is an continuous process, Rose said, due to the widespread use of its Wi-Fi.

“We continually optimize the network — with so many people, so many buildings, so much on-going change, we monitor and adjust the wireless network often to make sure you have the best experience possible,” she said. “Eduroam has all the same functionality that ND-secure did, but eduroam also offers you the ability to visit other schools that use eduroam and easily get on their network too. ND-secure couldn't do that.”

Rose said the shift to the new network has been positive, though OIT faced some challenges during Welcome Weekend.

“So far, we are hearing the Wi-Fi is better than last year,” Rose said. “During move-in weekend we heard from are a few people who had some issues getting signed onto eduroam, and we continue to look at how to make the sign-on process better.”

Rose encouraged students to reach out to OIT if they are facing issues with eduroam. She said the information gained from these interactions helps OIT improve service for everyone.

“If anyone has any questions, please call our OIT Help Desk at 574-631-8111,” she said. “There are lots of details our team needs to gather to help learn how we can continue to improve your experience, so a phone call makes it easier to gather those details.”

If students need OIT assistance in person or want to access other OIT resources, they can visit OIT’s office in 115 DeBartolo Hall, Rose said.

“This year, we consolidated all of the places you could go for different things in the OIT into one space — 115 DeBartolo,” she said. “Now you can get help with IT and printing questions, get your computer repaired and checkout A/V equipment ... for your class work all in one location. We hope this will get you all of the technology help you need in a more convenient location.”