Radio Spectrum Use Policy

Table of Contents

  1. Statement of Purpose
  2. Scope
  3. Policy

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to maintain the reliability, integrity, and security of the University's network.

The University of Maine System maintains a wireless network covering most areas on the University of Maine Campus. This system allows mobile or nomadic users to access UMS networking resources from areas covered. Uncoordinated deployments of wireless networks and products by groups and individuals have the potential to introduce interference and/or traffic that may reduce accessibility and quality of service of the UMS wireless network infrastructure. In order to provide a high level of service to the University community and minimize potential interference and degradation of wireless signals, the University requires cooperation from all sectors of the University community. The University wireless infrastructure currently uses products that conform to the IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN specifications but may be expanded into other available bands as new technologies become available.

Deployment of any wireless infrastructure needs to be carefully planned and engineered. The design and deployment of a wireless network for a particular location is influenced primarily by interference and capacity planning factors. Each design must include careful and exhaustive signal strength measurements, which take into account the three-dimensional nature of wireless network devices, interference caused by other devices using the same spectrum and obstacles such as concrete walls and metal supports.

The design must also take into account the potential load on the wireless network. A large number of wireless users in one area such as a large classroom or lecture hall, for example, may require the use of two or more wireless access points configured to load balance. A less dense but more spread out coverage area, such as a lawn between two buildings may require a "coverage-oriented" as opposed to a "capacity-oriented" design with a different set of configuration options. It is important to note that the bandwidth provided by the wired network far exceeds that provided by wireless network. Users attempting to substitute wireless LANs for wired LANs can expect degradation of performance and speed as well as potential loss of signal.

The University operates under increasing regulation to maintain security of the network infrastructure. Some of the current regulations involving network security include: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and The Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The University must certify that its networks are secure to comply with these various regulations. Therefore any supplemental network on campus must comply with these regulations. Failure to comply may result in fines from these external agencies.

Scope

This policy applies to all locations of The University of Maine.

Policy

Any member of the University community who intends to deploy any device that has the potential to interfere with the University wireless network is required to consult with UNET (Manager of Network Operations, 561-3507) to resolve any potential security, interference, or capacity issues prior to deployment of the device(s).

Any device transmitting in the 2.5 GHz band used by IEEE 802.11b/g devices or the 5 GHz band used by IEEE 802.11a devices may have the potential to cause interference with the campus wireless infrastructure. This list of frequencies may be extended to other bands as new technologies (such as the proposed IEEE 802.11n specification currently under consideration) become available and are deployed by the University in its wireless infrastructure.

The University reserves the right to monitor the campus network to find interfering devices when performance is degraded or interference is suspected. If a device is found to interfere with the reliability, integrity, or security of the wireless network, the responsible party or unit is required to work with UNET to resolve the issue. Cooperation by University members in reducing or eliminating such interference is required.

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