New EduRoam Wireless Network Met With Mixed Reviews

Returning to school this fall, Boston College students were greeted by a new face--or, rather, a new wireless network.

EduRoam, which stands for education roaming, replaced BCSecure as the main WiFi network on campus. It is a secure network that provides access for BC students, faculty and staff on campus and worldwide. EduRoam has been adopted by universities and colleges in more than 74 territories across the globe, allowing for a private connection at foreign institutions.

The change was implemented in response to a need to upgrade the systems for both cost effectiveness and increased efficiency. There were security concerns with BCSecure, and the infrastructure on which it had been running was 17 years old, reliant upon outdated hardware.

Plans for the upgrade were discussed with faculty, staff and representatives from the Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC) and the Quality of Student Life Committee during the past academic year.

The switch began late last spring as the BC Internet Technology Services (ITS) department began to reconnect the more than 30,000 devices on campus to the new infrastructure. ITS had to adjust the network after the first few days of classes to address issues that arose with the influx of students accessing the network, specifically relating to bandwidth, the speed of the internet activity, and connectivity, or being “kicked off” the network.

Margaret Rogers, WCAS ’16, had similar grievances. “Half the time I’ll just end up using my data, anyway,” she said,“and it’s way too slow.”

Other students have not noticed the difference. Miles Powe, CSOM ’18, said he saw no issues with the new network. 

“I feel like it’s fast enough, it’s just annoying how my computer keeps forgetting the network,” said Mary Clare Condon, MCAS ’18, before another student cut in to offer to fix that problem for her.

“I have heard that there were complaints, and I can tell you that we take them very seriously,” said Scott Cann, Technology Director at ITS, in an email. He urged students to contact the Help Center with any problems because once reported, “those problems are escalated to management and we assemble the appropriate teams to address the issues.”

When asked if there was any maintenance work currently being done, Cann responded, “There are no more major changes under way right now. We are actively monitoring network performance and our Help Center tickets, making any necessary changes to improve performance as needed.”

The new network is predicted to be much more sustainable as the number of devices increase over the next few years and is considerably more secure than the previous network.

The Help Center can be reached by calling 617-552-4357 or emailing help@bc.edu.

Rhode Islander with an unironic love for teen boy bands. Survives mainly on Ritz crackers and smoothies. Has a huge crush on Joe Biden. Interested in news writing, but hoping not to end up like that journalist on 'House of Cards.'

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