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U Maryland Joins International Eduroam Consortium

The University of Maryland, a public research school in College Park, has signed up for a service that allows members of the campus community to use wireless networking at other participating campuses by logging on with their home institution credentials. The university has joined eduroam, which stands for "education roaming," a network of organizations that offer their wireless for use by researchers and educators working in the United States and abroad. Eduroam is currently free for participating schools.

The service will allow U Maryland students, faculty, and staff to access wireless networks as the gateway to the Internet while visiting other campuses. Currently, about 2,000 institutions participate. At the same time, guests from other eduroam schools will be able to use U Maryland's network to gain access to the Internet.

"The University of Maryland attracts some of the most brilliant minds from near and far," said Brian Voss, CIO and vice president of IT. "As Maryland students and researchers pursue exceptional learning and research experiences abroad, the eduroam service ... will prove to be of significant value to them."

Gerry Sneeringer, director of security added: "We have found that security of the eduroam infrastructure as a whole is of highest priority, especially among the growing U.S. eduroam community, and we have taken the appropriate measures to ensure that the University of Maryland is able to join the global eduroam service securely."

eduroam began in Europe and has since spread to locations in the United States, Canada, and countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Setting up eduroam requires the 802.1x network access control standard running on campus as well as RADIUS for authentication management to create a "global trust fabric." Hosting of the U.S. infrastructure that supports eduroam Internet traffic in the United States is done by the University of Tennessee Knoxville, which was the first American university to participate in the service.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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