Rules for Implementing Wireless Networks at NC State

[Issued by the Vice Provost for Information Technology and Associate Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Information Systems; approved by the University Information Technology Committee, December 13, 2002]


The use of data networking resources at NC State, including wireless, is governed by all of the following:

  • federal law
  • state law
  • university policies and procedures.

NC State’s Communication Technologies (ComTech), the university’s data network and Internet service provider, is responsible for NC State’s network infrastructure and all connections to it, including wireless. Therefore, ComTech has the authority to block wireless transmitters and other wireless devices from accessing the university’s production data network, as well as to request termination of the use of any other device that:

  • Interferes with the security or operation of the official NC State wireless units or the campus network or
  • does not comply with standards approved by the University Information Technology Committee (see section II below).

Related Policies

REG 08.00.02 – Computer Use Regulation

Contact Information

Communication Technologies

Network Operations Center (NOC)

I. Purpose

The following rules and guidelines for wireless access to the NC State data network have been implemented to preserve the security, utility, and flexibility of the campus data network infrastructure and computing systems. Most of today’s wireless network standards use Instrumentation, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) bands of radio frequencies (900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz), which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not regulate or restrict. Therefore, the university must manage these frequency bands to provide a reliable production wireless network.

II. Scope

A. This document applies to implementing all wireless networking at NC State.

B. For this document, wireless networks on the campus are divided into two categories:

  • NC State public wireless networks are designed, built, and maintained by ComTech for use by NC State students, faculty, and staff with valid university computing accounts. The ComTech wireless network provides ubiquitous and seamless mobile computing resources. At present, the NC State wireless network infrastructure allows portable computing devices with wireless network interfaces to connect to the NC State network using IEEE 802.11-compliant technology. However, this may change as other technology options mature.
  • NC State private wireless networks are not funded, designed, built, or maintained by ComTech but are installed and maintained by NC State colleges, departments, units, organizations, or authorized individuals. The devices must be registered, and the installation must be approved.

III. Implementation of NC State public wireless networks

  1. ComTech is responsible for obtaining the funding and designing, purchasing, installing, and managing the NC State public wireless network.
  2. Installation priorities will be determined cooperatively between ComTech and any appropriate governance committee(s). Once the priorities have been set, the subcommittee must approve any changes to them. If a campus organization needs to have public wireless networking installed ahead of schedule, ComTech will work with the organization to fulfill that need as quickly as possible. Still, the department will be charged the full cost of the installation.
  3. NC State students, faculty, and staff may use the NC State public wireless network with a valid NC State Unity ID, password, and properly configured portable device. In addition, university guests may obtain access to the guest wireless network by accepting the Acceptable Use Policy.
  4. Running remote services (e.g., Web server, FTP server, NFS server, any person-to-person file sharing service) is PROHIBITED on the NC State wireless network and public wireless networks. However, users of the NC State wireless network and public wireless networks will connect to such services provided elsewhere.
  5. All traffic to and from the NC State wireless network is logged and associated with the user, as permitted by NC State Administrative Regulations, section II, G.
  6. Users of the NC State public wireless network are requested to immediately report any problems they encounter with the NC State wireless network to the NC State Help Desk.
  7. Wireless network users are responsible for the security of the data transmissions they send over the wireless network. Therefore, they should be strongly encouraged to use eduroam SSID or VPN when sensitive information traverses the wireless network; otherwise, they should move to the wired campus network.

IV. Implementation of private wireless networks in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands

If a building has been certified as having full wireless coverage, no department shall be permitted to install any wireless network that transmits in the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band. Coverage details for all buildings can be found on our wireless coverage maps.

No private wireless network should be installed without the explicit approval of ComTech. Special requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.