The Technical University of Eindhoven takes control over their guest Wi-Fi

The Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) is based in Eindhoven and founded on the 15th of June 1956 by the Dutch government. The TU/e has a dedicated campus in the center of Eindhoven, north of the central station. With 7215 students, 250 professors, 600 PhD researchers, 200 postdocs and a general staff of 2047 employees the TU/e is a middle-sized university in the Netherlands.

The TU/e offers eleven regular bachelor programs, one special bachelor, nineteen regular master programs and eight special master programs. The university has thirteen study associations, fifteen alumni associations and a big number of sport and cultural associations.

“Now guests only have to accept our terms of use, which is more efficient and user friendly and also results in a lot less effort from our side. “
Huub de Hessele, IT policy officer at TU/E

The TU/e needed a WiFi network that made it easy for guests to connect and use, and that could be managed by the local IT department. The TU/e found
it in the Ucopia guest WiFi solution and Ucopia’s solution now enables the delivery of free, simple and secure campus-wide WiFi.

CO-OPERATIVE NATIONWIDE NETWORK

The TU/e is part of a co-operation that includes all major universities in the Netherlands, one of their goals is to organize IT innovation centrally. Internet connection is one of the subjects they address. For a couple of reasons connecting to the Internet (via WiFi) for guests has proven to be difficult, a problem that had to be solved. The TU/e had to be able to identify every guest logging on to its WiFi network on an individual basis. “A guest had to create an account to use the WiFi, which was only possible with the help of a university employee,” says Huub de Hessele, IT policy officer. “Now guests only have to accept our terms of use, which is more efficient and user friendly and also results in a lot less effort from our side. Since we do not have to register the accounts anymore we save up a lot of time. Especially at conference with let us say 800 attendees”.

FROM MANAGEMENT TO ADVISORY

The IT department of the TU/e is shifting more towards a role as advisor, informing all internal stakeholders on what IT can offer them, and what is relevant for their own processes and position within the organization. In this light the more advanced features of UCOPIA may help them to create more value for others.
Technology and innovation are two important pillars within the research and educational departments, but also in the operational department of the TU/e campus. An example of this is their connection with the most sustainable datacenter of the world, situated on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.

HIGH CAPACITY

Besides an average amount of users there are also peek moments when it comes to the use of the guest network. Examples of this are open days.

The network has no problem functioning at a maximum capacity between 3000 and 5000 users.

Above this users can experience some delay in connecting with the network and using the WiFi.
UCOPIA’s solution is used over the whole campus, as a vendor agnostic layer over different types and brands of accesspoints. This makes that previous investments remain intact and future differentiation within the network are no problem, leaving enough room for expansion.
To ensure enough capacity for guests on the network the TU/e motivates employees and students to use designated networks for known users. Specific rules to stimulate this are brought into place. An example is an automated log-out after four hours. Users have to re-connect after this period. Guests usually are not on the campus longer than four hours, opposed to employees and students.

COMMUNICATION AT EVENTS

At conferences and events, sometimes with more than 1500 visitors at the same time, UCOPIA gives the TU/e the option to directly communicate with users of the network. Different types of messaging that can be used are provided through the welcome page and within the browser through web-injection. In this way logistic information (for example on parking facilities), a timetable of the program or a questionnaire can be shown on the personal screen (smartphone, tablet or laptop) of the user. The TU/e is currently investigating if they would like to use these additional features and how they can enhance the customer experience and improve operations.

SAFETY AND PROTECTION

Protection of personal data and legal responsibility where two important aspects within the selection by the IT department of the TU/e. The fact that the UCOPIA solution is compliant with all relevant legal legislation, and the fact that the TU/e should not take unnecessary responsibilities when it comes to abuse of the network, ensured that the solution delivered matched all requirements.
Two other important aspects in the selection where ease of use and scalability, areas in which the solution, suggested by the reseller Simac, has fulfilled all needs.

With UCOPIA the TU/e does not only take control over their own network but also has the option to take measurements into account or facilitate authorized authorities when problems or incidents occur.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

The TU/e is an advocate of transparency and wants to put this into practice. In the meanwhile they feel that safety and integrity should be taken into account. Ucopia helps to achieve these goals because it gives the TU/e the option to act and take measurements when the situation asks for it, without being dependent on other suppliers or organizations. “We do not actively monitor the activity on the guest network but can take measurements if needed. In case of misuse or for instance when a DDoS attack is launched from our network we can react on this without the help or approval of others” says De Hessele.

De Hessele is satisfied with the capacity of the UCOPIA solution, and the way it performs. The success of the solution might result in more users, since no registration is required and the network is far simpler to find and use.

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