Marietta College goes wireless in residence halls this fall

In another effort to provide Marietta College students with better access to technology, the Office of Information Technology is pleased to announce that all residence halls will have wireless Internet access beginning this fall.

"I am happy to report that all residence halls, theme houses and fraternity houses will have wireless access by the start of the fall semester," said John Davis, chief information officer. "We see more and more students bringing laptops to campus. It was time to extend wireless to all of our resident students as an added benefit for being a Marietta College student."

Students will still have access to an Ethernet connection in all residence halls, but they will not be able to use personal wireless routers on the campus network. Students accessing the campus network need will also need to make sure their anti-virus and security software is up-to-date on their computers.

In an effort to improve security, the College has implemented the use of Cisco Clean Access (CCA) to ensure that all computers connected to the College's network are patched and protected - and therefore equipped to guard themselves against software attacks. Malicious software such as viruses and worms can cause data loss, data theft, and can render a computer unusable. Cisco Clean Access makes sure that computers connected to the network are protected, providing all users with a cleaner, safer network.

"Every year various colleges face weeks of problems at the start of the fall semester due to students returning to campus with computers infected with viruses and/or outdated operating systems," Davis said. "With the implementation of Cisco Clean Access we will be able to require students to authenticate to gain access to the campus network. If a computer is found to be lacking in virus-scanning abilities or the operating system is not up to date, students will be given an opportunity to update their computer prior to causing harm to others on the network."

Students using Windows 2000, Windows XP or Mac OS X or Linux will be able to access the College network. The College is not supporting any other earlier operating systems, such as Windows 98, and continued access for machines running this software cannot be guaranteed.

Davis added that the new process is for the entire campus' protection, and the College provides the PC virus-scanning software at no charge.

Another feature of the CCA is that it requires authentication every 15 hours to use the campus network. "This allows us to better manage our Internet bandwidth by knowing that only college students, faculty, and staff are able to use the network resources," Davis said.