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NGN WiFi Replacement Begins at UMD

June 22, 2017

All components of the University's network, both wired and WiFi, will be upgraded over the next three years. 

The Next Generation Network (NGN) project at the University of Minnesota will upgrade all components of the University's network, both wired and WiFi, over the next three years. The new network will increase speed and throughput capacity, improve wireless access, and improve security management. This upgrade will standardize service offerings system-wide, including all campuses and satellite locations across the state.

The replacement of WiFi access points Is the first of four phases of the University's Next Generation Network project. This phase of work will impact every WiFi access point in UMD buildings and structures through mid-August. WiFi access point (AP) hardware replacements are scheduled to begin on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus next week. A calendar of planned wifi work is available on the UMD ITSS website. Service disruption during access point replacement work is expected to be minimal.

User impacts/How this will impact you:

  • WiFi AP upgrade work will happen during business hours, from approximately 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The project team does not expect to perform any building cuts on weekend or holidays and work will continue until the schedule is completed. If a building is completed, the contractor team will move to the next building on the schedule.
  • Start using "eduroam" for the most user-friendly experience. eduroam is now the preferred secure WiFi network for University students, faculty, and staff.

  • After an AP has been replaced, available networks will adjust slightly. The outdated network "UMD-WiFi" will no longer be available. "UofM-Guest" will be available for guest access, and a new user-friendly portal web page will instruct you how to securely log in.

  • You will be required to chose a new WiFI network if you were using the "UMD-WiFi" network. Users connected to "eduroam" should transition to the new network without any changes.  If you are experiencing issues getting on the network, please contact the ITSS Helpdesk.

  • Security controls will remain in place on the UofM-Guest network, and additional security controls will be added to unsecured access. Faculty, students, and staff who choose to access the network through this unsecured access will not be able to visit applications or services controlled by central authentication (Shibboleth). For example: MyU, University Google applications, VPN, financial systems, etc. WiFi access to centrally authenticated controlled applications will only be allowed from eduroam. If you have questions about security controls on University WiFi networks, please contact itsshelp@d.umn.edu.

Communications:

  • Signage will be posted in relevant campus buildings the week prior to scheduled work.

  • The field teams will have signage to place in the buildings as they are working to indicate that network upgrade work is happening. These signs will be laminated flyers that they will post in visible areas, such as entrance doors, stairwells or elevators, restroom doors, etc.

  • After work has been finished, laminated signs will be removed and paper signage will be posted to indicate that the network upgrade work has been completed. These signs include information about which network to connect to for visitors, students, faculty, and staff (eduroam and UofM-Guest).

  • WiFi upgrade signs are also available digitally. If you have digital or display screens in your buildings, please email ngnduluth@d.umn.edu to request signage files.

  • Upgrade details have been shared with Facilities Management contacts, building departmental contacts and ITSS team members in order to provide project specifics and awareness to all impacted areas and groups.

Events/classes will be taken into consideration during the WiFi upgrade project work.

  • If you have concerns about events/classes occurring during planned work in your building, please contact ngnduluth@d.umn.edu as soon as possible.

The NGN project team is doing everything possible to ensure smooth transitions and minimal service disruptions during the WiFi upgrade project.

  • We are coordinating with Desktop Support and other groups to help with post cutover support.

  • The ITSS Help Desk will be prepared for calls regarding WiFi changes, service disruptions, re-authentication, and/or network name changes. All support issues should be sent through itsshelp@d.umn.edu or 218-726-8847.

  • Post-cutover feedback is encouraged and can be shared with ngndululth@d.umn.edu.

  • News and schedules will be posted to the NGN website in a timely manner at itss.d.umn.edu/ngn.

We encourage you to validate network access as the cutover team makes progress, especially as they have completed the upgrade in your building(s). Please contact itsshelp@d.umn.edu if any issues arise.

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