IT Services


Wireless regulations (including Acceptable Use Policy)

References to 'wireless LAN equipment' below should be taken to refer to:

  • wireless Access Points (APs);
  • wireless Bridges / Routers;
  • devices (particularly laptops) incorporating wireless cards running in 'ad hoc' mode;
  • Bluetooth devices;
  • mobile devices running as hotspots; and
  • in general any device capable of running bluetooth and / or 802.11a, b or g or other related network protocols falls under the policies set out below.

Wireless LAN equipment that is not under the direct supervision of IT Services may not be attached to the University's campus network, the Halls of Residence network (Hornet), or otherwise used on University property in a manner that interferes with the campus spectrum management or security provisions.

Surveying and monitoring is undertaken to locate 'rogue' wireless LAN equipment (i.e. devices that are currently unregistered with the central service), and any found where the user has not taken steps to contact us will be deactivated immediately.

The administrators of any currently deployed unauthorised wireless LAN equipment must take urgent steps to contact IT Services to determine whether this equipment may be integrated into the campus scheme or must be disconnected.

Those contemplating future deployments must consult with IT Services as to location, management, capabilities and networking context in order to ensure a secure deployment. The preferred option is for IT Services to procure the wireless LAN equipment and install and manage it on your behalf.

Those contemplating deployment of wireless-enabled hardware unrelated to networking (e.g. alarm systems) that operates on the 2.4GHz or 5GHz ISM bands should consult with IT Services with regard to possible impact on the wireless LAN service.

To arrange temporary deployments (e.g. for conferences), please contact IT Services giving at least two weeks notice.

Exceptions to the above conditions may exceptionally be made - by prior arrangement and after suitable notice - where use of this technology is required for related areas of academic research (such as communications research) and suitable safeguards to the integrity of the main campus WLAN can be employed.

Unauthorised deployments

It is regrettable that people and departments have already invested in wireless LAN equipment without consulting IT Services. However, the security issues peculiar to wireless LANs may force us to mandate the removal of certain current deployments to protect the rest of the campus.

Authority to impose deployment policy

1. University Regulation XXVI

"8.3 Network Connection. No equipment may be connected in any way into any network or other IT facility of the University without the prior written agreement of the designated authority, unless to a network access point designed and nominated for the connection of portable or privately owned equipment."

"these Regulations subsume more detailed regulations relating to access to and the use of particular computing facilities" and thus provide the authority to enforce the wireless policy set out above.

2. Student Halls

"you must not use the network to [...] provide access to other users (for example by connecting a hub or modem to a networked computer). Your data connection is for your personal educational use. This is not intended to stop you allowing friends to use your computer, but you should be aware that you responsible for all activity on your computer. However, you should not allow other people to access the University of Manchester network via your computer whether by installing extra hardware that would allow others to connect, or by running services on your computer which would allow others to access the network from external or local computers. You should not set up or attach any Wireless Access Point to the Hornet network."

The AUP for Hornet forms part of the students contract for network service provision within Halls of Residence.

Basis of deployment policy

1. Security

Wireless LANs are inherently insecure.

Note that some of the recommendations made on the linked page are not applicable to the University context.

2. Radio Spectrum Management

The efficient operation of a wireless LAN depends on a planned approach to the allocation of the spectrum available in the 2.4Ghz/5GHz bands. Rogue wireless hardware will interfere with other wireless equipment, resulting in degradation of performance on both networks.

Acceptable use policy

Misuse of your wireless network connection will lead to the withdrawal of your wireless connection, and for staff and students of the University may have consequences for other forms of access to the campus network.

The University of Manchester provides this wireless network principally for the use of staff and students to help achieve the University's and the students' educational objectives.

The University encourages personal (non-academic related) use of this network services to develop skills related to the use of networked resources in general. However, some restrictions must be imposed in the ways in which the network may be used.

General restrictions

Your usage of this network is regulated by relevant UK law, and it is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with its requirements. See for example:

  • Data Protection Act 1998;
  • Parts of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994; Computer Misuse Act 1990; and
  • Copyright, etc. and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Act 2002.

In particular, you must not use the network to:

  • Send or otherwise make available to others any material that is offensive, obscene or indecent, or infringes the copyright of another person (e.g. MP3 or other audio or video formats). The United Kingdom has strict laws on obscenity. You should also be aware that copyright law still applies to the Internet.
  • Do not make available by any means (web server, FTP server or file-sharing software such as KaZaa, Gnutella, Morpheus etc) any material unless you are the copyright holder of that material, or have a licence to make that material available, or the material has been expressly put into the public domain and you can demonstrate this. By material we mean any information that can be stored on a computer: multimedia files such as video, music, speech, still images, text, software, or other file formats. An explanation of copyright is available on the UK Patent Office website; global copyright is explained at the World Intellectual Property Organisation site.
  • Cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety to others. Examples would include abusive or offensive emails.
  • Access, or attempt to gain access to, computer systems, data or resources to which you are not authorised. Only use those resources that you have permission to access.
  • Provide network services such as DNS, DHCP, Bootp or other such services that may interfere with the normal running of the network. IT Services provides such services. In general, this applies more to students running versions of Unix (such as Linux) but versions of Windows can also sometimes provide some of these services.
  • Provide access to other users. For example by connecting a hub or modem to a wireless networked computer, connecting a wireless access point, or by passing on your username and password to a third party.
  • Access network services in such a way as to deny reasonable access to the network for other users, for example, by excessive use of network bandwidth. This could include the use of personal web or FTP servers, or file-sharing software.
  • The University provides each user with a unique IP address for the duration of their wireless network session. You should never change your IP address settings.

Restrictions specific to staff and students of the University

Network traffic for members of the University is routed over the campus network and out to the Internet via the publicly-funded JANET network. Some additional conditions and responsibilities fall upon its users. Your use of the network must abide by:

  • University policies, including Access to and Use of Information Systems and the Harassment Policy; and
  • the acceptable use guidelines of JANET.

Records & monitoring

Note that everything that is done using the campus WiFi network is automatically recorded and stored. These records (of web sites visited, files transferred, emails sent etc) are not actively monitored, but if any misuse is suspected, they may be checked in accordance with University regulations to find out exactly what any user was using the network for at any given time. If you keep within the acceptable use guidelines specified above, your records will never be looked at.

Misuse of the network facilities including, but not limited to, those listed above will regarded as a serious disciplinary matter. Misuse will result in the immediate termination of your network access. It may also result in disciplinary action being taken by the University authorities or even the UK police.

IT Services staff oversee and monitor your usage of network facilities. Under exceptional circumstances, and with permission from the Warden, ITS personnel may be authorised to inspect a particular computer on site, including the data and services running on it. In such cases, the registered user will be required to co-operate with the inspection (e.g. by providing any passwords required).

You should also be aware of the possible security risks associated with connecting your computer to a network. It is your own responsibility to keep your computer free from malicious code (e.g. viruses) and secure it against unauthorised access (i.e. 'hackers'). You are strongly advised to take precautions such as installing up todate anti-virus software and applying any security patches issued by your operating system provider. The Halls Support service can advise you on this if required.

Misuse of the network facilities

Misuse of the network facilities including, but not limited to, those examples listed above will be taken extremely seriously. Such misuse of a wireless network connection may lead to one or more of:

  • immediate disconnection of the current wireless session;
  • withdrawal of the right to use the campus wireless LAN for a defined period;
  • for staff and students of the University, may result in additional disciplinary proceedings under the relevant have University regulations; and
  • the University has a duty to report serious incidents to the UK police.

To this end, IT Services Division staff oversee and monitor the usage of the wireless network facility. In accepting this AUP, you agree to this monitoring and the maintenance of records required to assist any investigation. In the event of a problem being traced to your computer you must immediately disconnect it from the network if requested to do so. You should also be aware of the possible security risks associated with connecting your computer to any network.

Vintage radio

Full regulations