Wireless Router = Hot Plate?

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That's just one of the questions being tossed back and forth over at Slashdot after UT-Dallas announced a plan to ban private wi-fi networks from campus.

The university is evidently worried that students' 2.4 gig networks will blow up the school's own wireless network.

(via Broadbandreports)

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  1. U.T. Dallas has no University owned and operated housing facilities. However, the Waterview Park Apartments are located on the U.T. Dallas campus within easy walking distance to all campus facilities. U.T. Dallas students have priority for available units.

    So basically, they are trying to tell students who don’t live in University owned apartments what they can and can’t do with their wireless networks. As someone on Slashdot commented, they bought wireless access points that operate in an unlicensed band; they have to accept any interference from other devices, since they didn’t license the spectrum. (Don’t argue whether or not spectrum should be licensed here; it’s just an observation about the present state of the law.) So they are trying to assert control over students who don’t live on University property and control over spectrum that they have no legal right to. Sounds pretty open and shut to me.

  2. Sorry, there should have been a link in the above post.

    http://www.utdallas.edu/utdgeneral/utdmaps/waterview.html

    Also interesting: students in the apartments discuss the whole policy. Click on my name for the link.

  3. Yes, unlicensed band and putting up with that…

    We have wireless (microwave) high speed internet and when it works it smokes (T-1 speeds). But the interference problem can be vexing. Wireless is, as grylliade points out, on a spectrum that is free to all comers. You can’t stop interference and you can’t stop students from using it becuase it requires no license.

    Everything from portable phones to the goof down the hill with the killer ham radio can degrade or disappear wireless reception.

    It is going to get really interesting when wireless proliferates to the point that CB and walkie talkie is at now. IE, you can’t use either because the interference from all the other users makes it impossible.

  4. Our campus bans them as well. Too many idiots were leaving them wide open.

  5. i’m sitting about two feet from a wireless router. I’m in the only on campus apartments where we have to pay the cable company for internet, instead of being hooked up to the ethernet, and the one cable jack is downstairs, and i don’t think we can run wire along the walls, so wireless is about the only way we can fit all the computers in here. My source in the dorms isn’t responding on whether or not they can run wifi. I’m pretty sure my roommate has the router set only to accept him, being a CS major I hope he’s got that down. And that’s all I have to say about that.

  6. UTD’s apartment situation is odd. They own the land, but lease it to a private company to provide on-campus housing. You have to be a student to have an apartment, and UTD excercises a fair amount of control over the apartment complex.

    Note that this does not appear to be a restriction against attaching them to the UTD network, which doesn’t cover Waterview, but wifi routers connected to independent ISPs. Mostly because Waterview (the apartment manager) wants to provide the ONLY WiFi access.

  7. According to the link below, Intel expects to release WiMAX (802.16e) in 2005. WiMAX has a speed of 70 Mbps and a range of up to 30 miles, so this argument may soon become quite beside the point.

    http://www.eetuk.com/tech/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=46800334

  8. …That’s not a typo, by the way, I’ve read that the range is thirty miles!

  9. Didn’t bother to RTFA, but at most schools, adding a hub/switch to your network ports is forbidden. So adding an unsecured publicly available wireless access point would certainly be against their acceptable use policy.

    Where I went to school you paid for the internet access. Doing things like this allow people who don’t chip in to cover the costs use the resources. I think now it’s just part of the dorm fees, but it still allows unauthorized use of university resources.

    Happening to work for a University, I have to treat the internal network as more of a threat than the internet, because of the students. Adding devices that makes it impossible to track down people with compromised machines, or those initiating attacks, just adds to the problem.

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