As a graduate student it may not be all that often that you leave your office, laboratory, or the makeshift cubicle you’ve fashioned out of library books in your apartment. But occasionally, you will need to venture outside for one reason or another. And in order to attend conferences, do research, or collaborate with others, you may even need to leave the comfortable confines of your university and venture onto the campus of another institution.
For a long time getting internet access as a guest at another college or university meant jumping through bureaucratic and technical hoops, sneaking unsecure access at a library terminal, or simply leaving campus for a coffee shop with open Wi-Fi. Fortunately, a consortium of global universities is trying to make inter-campus wireless access as easy as logging in to your home institution’s network. The project, eduroam, currently lists 20 active institutions, 16 intuitions in testing, and another 25 interested intuitions in its U.S. network. And it boasts connections with 2,000 institutions worldwide.
This introductory cartoon explains the basics of the system in what are sometimes almost insultingly simplistic terms. It also makes some wildly broad promises about the future of the system. Around the 50 second to one minute mark they declare that “Eduroam is set to bring on a whole bunch of super new stuff accessible from a variety of pretty cool places.” Wow.
Whether or not they deliver on the “super new stuff” in the future, the existing system is worth a look. Check out their website to see if your institution is already participating. If it’s not, you can drop your IT department a line to suggest that they get on board.
If anyone out there has had a chance to take advantage of the service please leave a comment below letting us all know how it went.