Since 2014 our colleges have used Eduroam. This network provides free and secure wireless access for all of our member colleges and secure WiFi access at any participating location to millions of students, researchers, and academic staff around the world. This is a prime example of collaboration, service enhancement and cost savings.
Our Network Managers were the first to read about the service and recommend we join the system as early adopters. Although it was somewhat unchartered territory it stood the test of our technical analysis and we agreed to join as a consortium. The benefits include the ability to use your same login as you go from campus to campus amongst COF colleges (Think cross-registration, studying with friends and living in a residence hall on another COF campus) In addition if you are away at a conference whether you are at MIT, UMaine or Baylor your credentials are recognized. Although we try to quantify savings, the benefits of Eduroam for students faculty and staff are extensive and hard to measure. Because of this service that we provide at no cost it eliminates the need for individual hot spots, access points, and the use of personal wireless data plans.
Having started in Europe, Eduroam has rapidly expanded throughout the research and education community. The latest statistics for the Eduroam service show more growth in 2017 with a 18% increase in international authentications and a 21% increase in national authentications. 85 countries now take part in Eduroam around the world with Tajikistan being the latest country to join the Eduroam family.
In total, the Eduroam AuthN system recorded over 3.6 billion national authentications (where users from another institution in the same country authenticate their WiFi access via eduroam) and more than 834 million international authentications.
So as members of the COF community, you are 1 in 3.6 billion!