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Wireless network pilot begins

A pilot program that offers wireless access to the Internet at two of the University Library's main buildings and Angell Hall is underway. The Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library and Shapiro Library buildings and the Angell Courtyard Campus Computing Site are the first three of several UM Wireless Network pilot locations planned for campus.
Betsy Kuller, sophomore, History of Art, uses the UM Wireless Network to connect to the Internet and read e-mail while studying in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library. (Photo by Wanda Monroe, University Library)

Information Technology Central Services (ITCS), University Library and the Michigan Union are partners in the deployment of the network. In addition to the initial pilot locations, the Michigan Union, Michigan League and Pierpont Commons are scheduled for wireless implementation later this year. The network is available to all faculty, staff and students. (Some academic departments and business units have implemented their own wireless LANs. Check with the IT support group in your unit to see if a wireless network is available for use at your location.)

"We're very happy to have been a partner in this project, which ultimately will benefit the entire University community," says Kitty Bridges, executive director of ITCS. "We are looking forward to a future that is truly wireless—when it will be possible for users to continue their work as they move from office to lab to classroom to library. This pilot is the first step in that direction."

Members of the University community who have a valid umich uniqname and associated password are authorized to use the wireless network. Network users need a computer equipped with an IEEE 802.11b wireless card and software and a Web browser to gain access.

"We are delighted that wireless service is now available to those who wish to connect to the network from the many study areas in these libraries," says William Gosling, University Library director. "Faculty, students and staff with a laptop may enjoy the freedom of conducting their research and checking their e-mail from any variety of library locations in the two buildings."

Library locations include designated access areas on all floors of the Shapiro Library building and designated areas on floors 2 through 6 at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. The UM Wireless Network is a short-range network that requires users to be physically present in a defined area where the radio signal is available. Those who move out of the area may be disconnected as the radio signal weakens.

The network is compatible with all IEEE 802.11b products, including the three most common on campus: Apple Airport, Cisco Aironet and Lucent/Proxim Orinoco.

The network does not work with cellular phones, pagers, Palm VIIs, Bluetooth, infrared or IEEE 802.11a (54 Mbps) wireless technologies. Printing from machines connected to the network is unavailable at this time but the capability to print is under investigation.

For more details about the wireless network pilot, information about wireless security, maps showing where wireless access is available inside the libraries and more, visit http://www.itcom.itcs.umich.edu/wireless/.

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