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IT Project: Northwestern Wireless SSID Retirement

Project Status

January 2022:The retirement date for the "Northwestern" SSID has been moved from January 19, 2022, to February 2, 2022, due to the scheduling of WildCat Wellness for the first two weeks of January. Users who try to connect using the "Northwestern" SSID on and after February 2, will be redirected to a web page with self-help instructions for connecting their devices to "eduroam."

Northwestern IT continues to encourage users to switch to the "eduroam" SSID for on-campus wireless connections through monthly email reminders to those have one or more devices connecting to the "Northwestern" SSID.

Overview

Northwestern IT is retiring the “Northwestern” SSID (wireless network name) in favor of making the “eduroam” wireless SSID the primary campus secure wireless network on February 2, 2022.

There are three choices for wireless connections; Northwestern, eduroam, and the less secure connection, Guest-Northwestern. The “Northwestern” SSID is functionally a duplicate service to the “eduroam” SSID for on-campus users. A Northwestern user who connects to either SSID has the same experience with IP address assignment, performance, and security.

After this change, students, faculty, and staff who use the secure campus wireless network will be guaranteed to have the “eduroam” SSID configured on their devices. When visiting another eduroam-enabled institution, their devices will automatically connect to the “eduroam” SSID, creating a secure and encrypted Wi-Fi connection.

Phasing out the “Northwestern” SSID reduces a layer of service management and will improve overall wireless network performance. It also makes it easier to provide traveling members of the Northwestern community with secure, seamless wireless communication when visiting institution utilizing eduroam.

Goals and Objectives

Approach

The transition will occur over approximately 12 months and be accomplished in three phases:

Fall 2020 – Winter 2021: Develop new and update existing end-user documentation and deliver advance notice to the University Community.

Spring 2021 – Fall 2021: Students, faculty, and staff are urged to switch their on-campus wifi connections to the eduroam network. Users with devices connecting on-campus via the "Northwestern" SSID, will receive monthly reminders to make the switch.

Winter 2022 : Final reminder notifications to remaining users connecting to the "Northwestern" SSID. The "Northwestern" SSID is retired on February 2, 2022.

Project Timeline

Phase

Description

Status

Target Completion Date

I

Technical discovery and creation of end-user documentation

Complete

Winter 2021

II

Begin the transition to eduroam

 In progress

Summer - Fall 2021

III

"Northwestern" SSID is retired

 

February 2, 2022

 

Last Updated: 12 January 2022

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