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Nicholls State University Wireless Network Policy

I. PURPOSE

The effective management of information technology resources is crucially important to the success of the mission of Nicholls State University. Because of the inherent insecure nature of wireless communication, wireless networks require increased cooperation and coordination between campus entities to maximize the technology’s benefits to the students, faculty, and staff of the University, to allow connection to wireless networks in different campus buildings, and eventually, to facilitate the ability to roam from building to building without losing network connectivity. This document sets forth the policies for using wireless technologies and assigns responsibilities for the deployment of wireless services and the administration of the wireless radio frequency spectrum in a distributed campus network environment. This policy expands the University Computer Use Policy and the Student Computer Use Policy by including specific direction regarding wireless communications and the resolution of issues that may arise. This policy is subject to change as new technologies and processes emerge.

 II. REFERENCES

Student User Agreement Form
Student Wireless Access Form
Student Computer Use Policy
Electronic Email Policy
Lab and Network Usage Policy
University Computer Use Policy

 III. DEFINITIONS

Wireless Network means local area network technology that uses radio frequency spectrum to connect computing devices to college, department, or division wired networks and may connect to the Campus Network Backbone and the Internet.

Access Point means electronic hardware that serves as a common connection point for devices in a wireless network. An access point acts as a network hub that is used to connect segments of a LAN, using transmit and receive antennas instead of ports for access by multiple users of the wireless network. Access points are shared bandwidth devices and can be connected to the wired network, allowing access to the campus network backbone.

Wireless Infrastructure means wireless access points, antennas, cabling, power, and network hardware associated with the deployment of a wireless communications network.

Coverage means the geographical area where a baseline level of wireless connection service quality is attainable.

Interference means the degradation of a wireless communication signal caused by electromagnetic radiation from another source. Interference can slow down or eliminate a wireless transmission depending on the strength of the interfering signal.

Privacy means the condition that provides for the confidentiality of personal, student, faculty and staff communications, and institutional data transmitted over a wireless network.

Client hardware/software means the electronic equipment and software that is installed in a desktop, laptop, handheld, portable, or other computing device to provide a LAN interface to a wireless network.

 IV. SCOPE

This policy applies to all wireless network devices utilizing Nicholls State University IP space (including private IP space within University networks) and all users of such devices, and governs all wireless connections to the campus network backbone, frequency allocation, network assignment, registration in the Domain Name System, and services provided over wireless connections to the campus network backbone to colleges, departments, or divisions of Nicholls State University.

 V. AUTHORITY

This policy is under the authority and oversight of The Division of Information Technology including the Department of Academic Computing under the direction of the Executive Vice President.  Technical review of this document is under the direction and authority of The Division of Information Technology including the Department of Academic Computing under the direction of the Executive Vice President.

 VI. POLICY

Wireless equipment and users must follow all network connection policies as set forth in the University Computer Use Policy and the Student Computer Use policy. All provisions of the ISO Minimal Security Requirements and Practices apply to this policy.

Interference or disruption of other authorized communications that result from the intentional or incidental misuse or misapplication of wireless network radio frequency spectrum is prohibited.

Wireless access points must abide by all federal, state, and local laws, rules or regulations pertaining to wireless networks.

Deployment and management of wireless access points is the responsibility of The Division of Information Technology as under the direction of Executive Vice President.

University colleges, departments, or divisions must register for the use of radio frequency spectrum with The Division of Information Technology including the Department of Academic Computing , prior to implementation of wireless networks.

The location of all wireless access points must be registered with the The Division of Information Technology.

Wireless access points shall require user authentication at the access point before granting access to campus or Internet services. Wireless network interfaces and end-user devices shall support authentication to access wireless networks that allow connectivity to the Campus Network Backbone.

Physical security should be considered when planning the location of wireless access point and other wireless network components.

Wireless networks must be designed and deployed to avoid physical and logical interference between components of different network segments and other equipment. In the event that a wireless device interferes with other equipment, The Division of Information Technology shall resolve the interference as determined by use priority.

The Division of Information Technology including the Department of Academic Computing will attempt to resolve any interference or security incidents by coordinating with the registered Point of Contact (POC) for the wireless network. If a POC is not available, the incident is resolved through administration of the network connection to the backbone.

The Division of Information Technology including the Department of Academic Computing is authorized to take whatever reasonable steps are necessary to ensure compliance with this, and other network related policies that are designed to protect the integrity and security of the campus network backbone.

Disconnect Authorization – Any wireless network on campus, which poses a security threat, may be disconnected from the campus backbone network. If a serious security breach is in process, The Division of Information Technology including the Department of Academic Computing may disconnect the LAN immediately. Every reasonable attempt will be made to reach the registered “Point of Contact” to resolve security problems. The Division of Information Technology has the authority to disconnect any wireless network from the campus network backbone whose traffic violates practices set forth in this policy, or any network related policy. It is the responsibility of the college, department, or division to be knowledgeable regarding the provision such policies.

Grievance matters with this policy or conflicts between The Division of Information Technology including the Department of Academic Computing and any University college, department, or student are directed to the Executive Vice President for resolution.

There are no guarantees that all brands of wireless networking equipment will work on the Nicholls State University network. Currently the only accepted standard is 802.11a, b, and g. These standards are subject to change as new technologies and standards evolve. Please check with The Division of Information Technology including the Department of Academic Computing as to the current recommendations.

Coverage is limited on campus and there are no guarantees to the amount of coverage on the campus.

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