Connor Frost | Mustang News

Information Technology Services (ITS) replaced SecureMustangWireless and WifiSetup Sept. 8 with a new “eduroam” network.

Eduroam, short for “education roaming,” is an international roaming access service used at thousands of universities and research institutions worldwide, including many UCs and CSUs.

The new network is secure and requires a one-time set up on users’ devices. Students can log into the new WiFi network with their full Cal Poly email address and password.

According to the ITS website, students on the network are able to access WiFi anywhere on-campus as well as at any other eduroam-member institutions. A map of participating organizations is available on eduroam’s website.

ITS has declined to comment on the reason for the switch at this time.

Lucas Miller, the information technology consultant for the Infrastructure & Platform Services Operations team, said the purpose of the switch from SecureMustangWireless and WifiSetup to eduroam was to make connection easier for students, staff and faculty members and visitors from other institutions that use eduroam.

“The overall idea was just to simplify the user experience,” Miller said.

Before the 2019-20 academic year, Cal Poly had four network options: SecureMustangWireless, Cal Poly Guest, WifiSetup and eduroam, according to Miller.

To connect to Wi-Fi on campus, students and faculty members had to either use their school login credentials for SecureMustangWireless or use the WifiSetup network, which Miller said required the installation of three or four security certificates that would eventually expire or malfunction.

To fix these certificates, Miller said ITS would have to remove them.

“That was just a pain,” Miller said.

After receiving feedback from multiple people saying the number of Wi-Fi options on campus and the connection processes were confusing, ITS got rid of SecureMustangWireless and WifiSetup, retaining Cal Poly Guest and eduroam, Miller said.

Miller said another pro of switching to eduroam was how students and faculty members need to accept only one certificate – instead of three to four with WifiSetup – that will expire Sept. 2021.

After the 2021 expiration date, ITS merely needs to renew the certificate, which will prompt users to trust the network once again, Miller said.

Since Cal Poly has already had eduroam since 2016, it did not cost the university more or less to use the new Wi-Fi network. The university reportedly pays around $700 per year to use eduroam, the business administration alumnus said.

About a week before Fall Quarter 2019 started, the original certificate of eduroam was set to expire Jan. 2020. However, to avoid any issues during the academic year, ITS upgraded the certificate to “get it out of the way,” Miller said.

On-campus residents can use the new CP-loT network for devices like TVs and gaming consoles. An upcoming update for this connection will allow the use of wireless printers, Apple TV and more.

Find more information about campus Wi-Fi here.

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