'TAMIU Unplugged' Brings Wireless Network to Campus
With one click, Texas A&M International University student Eduardo
Garcia can check his email, send his term paper to his professor and attend
his online class -- with no visible wires, cables or plugs. Garcia is
using "TAMIU Unplugged," the University's new wireless internet
connection that launched this Monday.
TAMIU now joins the over 60 percent of cutting-edge universities across
the nation that have designated wireless areas of their campuses for student,
faculty and administrative use.
Lakshmana Viswanath, director of the University's Computer Telecommunications
Services, said the prototype, located on the third floor of the Sue and
Radcliffe Killam Library, is the first of a planned series of wireless
access sites on campus.
"We're keenly interested in providing our University community
with the latest in technological advances that can speed learning, productivity
and campus-wide connections. We envision a series of access sites across
the campus connecting us here and beyond," Viswanath explained.
How does it work?
The University, utilizing the latest technologies, establishes a wireless
signal zone on campus that provides Internet access points in all directions.
Users with computers equipped for wireless access connect to the Internet
from as far as 100 yards from the access point, depending on a number
Lebrian Gaskins, CTS associate director, offered additional details.
"Users of 'TAMIU Unplugged' will initially require Windows XP.
Windows 2000 will also work, but the user will need the latest Service
Packs from Microsoft and a wireless management software client that supports
WEP encryption and automatically generated WEP keys. Most wireless adapters
come with a wireless management software client, but users can find links
to other clients on our website," Gaskins explained.
As with all new technologies, limitations and security systems are also
in place, he noted.
"The service is 24 hours, but may be limited by access to buildings,
the user's wireless adapter, protocol used to connect, the number of users
at any given time, terrain or the presence of solid walls.
Regarding security, the service is limited to students who are currently
enrolled at TAMIU and full-time faculty and staff. Access to the service
is password protected. In addition, the University will support several
types of encryption and authentication protocols for wireless local area
networks, among other security measures," he explained.
"TAMIU Unplugged" follows on the heels of the University's
successful "Email for Life," which provides University students
and graduates with a free email account for life. Both efforts are offered
at no cost to students and graduates. Students, faculty, alumni and staff
interested in accessing "TAMIU Unplugged," the wireless network,
can visit an informative website at
Information is also available by phone by calling the TAMIU's CTS at
326.2310 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
University office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests
and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information
Services at email@example.com