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UTD Lifts Ban On WiFi Equipment 180

Posted by timothy
from the magnanimous dept.
boredMDer writes "As seen in this /. story, the University of Texas in Dallas had issued a ban on students operating 2.4 GHz WiFi equipment. However, UTD has now lifted said ban, because of 'the discovery of an FCC ruling prohibiting such a move.'"
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UTD Lifts Ban On WiFi Equipment

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  • by Zarhan (415465) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @07:32AM (#10284166)
    Okay, I can see one of the reasons they wanted to do this was, according to the article, not interference per se, but this:

    The connectivity problem stems from the fact that, if not told to do otherwise, many wireless cards will automatically connect to the strongest signal available. In Waterview's case, a network card might jump onto a neighbor's stronger access point instead of the possibly weaker UTD wireless network. The network swap can cause a "denial of service" conflict and a failure to connect to the Internet, Jackson said.

    IR officials said they hoped shutting down personal access points would stop cards from arbitrarily swapping their signal source.


    Now, just WTF are they thinking? Of course if I don't configure my WiFi card to a specific SSID, it'll use whatever network happens to be close by. Couldn't they just have set up an instruction sheet that said "if you want to use our network, set your SSID to campusnet" or whatever? In Windows XP this is trivial, with older ones you may need to go to network driver settings and punch it in there (or use software included with the card). With Linux you just say iwconfig wlan0 (or whatever your device is) ssid blahblah.

    I'll grant that they do have a problem with gazillion wireless networks combined with default settings for Wifi cards, but they clearly went the wrong way of dealing with it. Considering that even warchalk markings include SSID names, I don't think it would have been too much trouble to give instructions on how to set up your card.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 18, 2004 @07:33AM (#10284169)


    So let me get this straight...an FCC ruling has resulted in having a BAN on 802.11 LIFTED? Surely this must be some kind of twisted parallel dimension this news comes from...

    Next thing you know Microsoft will start asking Windows pirates to come forward on their own volition.
  • Kind of Nice.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rosyna (80334) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @07:34AM (#10284174) Homepage
    .. to see that in the last few years the FCC and FTC has been doing some good to citizens of the US. With this wireless policy, the law that states that property owners cannot prohibit a tenant to install a satellite dish as long as it is within the leased/rented property, the Do Not Call List, and the recent spam bounties, and the heavy charge for that jackson's boob incident. A "boob" like hers should have never been shown on TV. Just nasty...
    • Re:Kind of Nice.. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zorilla (791636)
      Of course, I believe the main critisism of said actions by the FCC is that they're good ideas, just poor execution. The Do-Not-Call list has workarounds for compainies that have "business partners", and the spam bounties only really work if spamming was actually easily defined as illegal in the first place.

      I should probably stay away from the boob incident. It didn't bother me one bit.
      • Re:Kind of Nice.. (Score:1, Interesting)

        by fimbulvetr (598306)
        On the contrary, they were not workarounds, they were fairly legit considering the alternatives. For instance, 1-800-contacts can still call me when my contact perscription expires, because I've already had a _business_ relationship with them. The fcc would have been laughed at if it tried to prevent said things from being done. The law would have been turned into a joke.
        On the other hand, the law was a joke for a time, but now I only get 1 call a week from telemarketers. It could have been (and WAS) _a lot
        • I think he was referring to the various "business partners" that really have no business being connected together. So, for example, 1-800-contacts could be affiliated with an insurance company, who in turn could be affiliated with a phone company, which could also be an ISP, and suddenly you'd be getting telemarketers calling to offer long-distance+DSL with Web services on the side. All perfectly legit, as long as you allow the nebulous "business partners" relationship to span friends-of-friends-of-friend
    • No. No they aren't (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 18, 2004 @08:08AM (#10284241)
      "to see that in the last few years the FCC and FTC has been doing some good to citizens of the US."

      The FCC is doing far more harm than good through their attempting to censor speech on the radio (not in their charter), giving away billions in spectrum, and their rulings that force DRM onto HDTV. It gives me a headache just to think about it.

      Actually, I don't see where the FCC has jurisdiction over this. I mean, obviously they think they do, but think about it.

      The university has no right to prohibit legal electronic equipment in the dorm...true. But the FCC has no right to force private property owners to allow the university to do something just because it has police and a military to back up their decision. Its utterly arbitrary.

      The FCC is a bunch of idiots, run by an idiot son of a guy who sold his soul the biggest moron who ever occupied the oval office. And that's quite an accomplishment.
      • by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @09:56AM (#10284504)

        The university has no right to prohibit legal electronic equipment in the dorm...true. But the FCC has no right to force private property owners to allow the university to do something just because it has police and a military to back up their decision. Its utterly arbitrary.

        This is actually one of the few areas where the FCC should be regulating things - their job was (and still should be limited to) regulating the use of the airwaves and preventing interference. 2.4GHz is declared as free to all comers with some power restrictions, so declaring that all bans on equipment use (outside of FCC rules) makes perfect sense.

      • So, "Mr. Private property," which is it? Censor speech on the radio? You do understand that's a public space... right? As is the spectrum (as it has been viewed for ages). It's not something someone owns, it's something we long ago agreed to hold in trust and license to individuals provided they agree to live by the rules. You want to talk about censorship? What if the guy next door could simply fire up a transmitter more powerful than yours and step all over you because he didn't like what you had to say a
      • But the FCC has no right to force private property owners to allow the university to do something just because it has police and a military to back up their decision. Its utterly arbitrary.

        UTD is NOT a "private property owner". It is an arm of the government of the state of Texas and it operates pursuant to the authority granted it by that state.

        The FCC could not prevent a private landlord from prohibiting WiFi devices in a lease. It probably could not prevent UTD from prohibiting them in a lease eith

        • The FCC could not prevent a private landlord from prohibiting WiFi devices in a lease.

          Actually, yes it can. Go back to the original Slashdot article, and read the memo linked.

          Landlords can't prevent people from using satellite dishes (though they can prevent them from attaching them to the building, because the people don't have exclusive rights to the building itself). This is specifically addressed in the memo.

          Really. I'm serious - it's very specifically stated that landlords, community organizations
    • The FCC's attempts at further deregulation kinda kills any "The FCC is good for you" arguments. Now toss in their 1950's prudish censorship crusade and you've got yourself an organization we can do without or at the very least can be limited only to bandwidth issues and without the cronyism.
      • Now toss in their 1950's prudish censorship crusade

        I was unaware that the 1950s were in "the last few years". Unless we went through a time warp and no one told me... again.
  • FCC regs. (Score:5, Informative)

    by fimbulvetr (598306) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @07:38AM (#10284178)
    Many fellow /.s predicted this would happen, mainly because like it said, these devices _must_ accept interference.

    For more information on the Part 15 docs, see this site:

    http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_01/47cf r15_01.html [gpo.gov]
    • Re:FCC regs. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Detritus (11846)
      The "must accept interference" and "may not cause interference" phrases are the FCC's way of saying that Part 15 devices are at the bottom of hierarchy of spectrum usage. For any given chunk of spectrum, there may be primary, secondary and tertiary users. Think of it as a class system, with nobles, freemen and slaves. Licensed primary users are nobles, licensed secondary users are freemen, and unlicensed users are slaves. Your betters have the right of way and you have no legal cause if they run you off the
  • by Motherfucking Shit (636021) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @07:40AM (#10284180) Journal
    The FCC is the only body with the legal authority to regulate the spectrum. The vast majority of the comments in the original /. story agreed with this.

    UTD didn't own the apartments in question, even if they did they aren't allowed to prohibit their tenants from establishing legal wireless links. FCC regs allow tenants the ability to place dishes as necessary, antennas as necessary (so long as they're legal), and amateur radio equipment as necessary. Landlords cannot interfere with the above legal placements. End of story.

    I'm glad to see that UTD backed down. As much as I loathe the FCC for going after Howard Stern, and for making a huge issue out of Janet's n1ppl4g3, this is a major victory for the average joe.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      UTD didn't own the apartments in question

      It doesn't own the apartment complex per se, but it does own the land.

      UTD didn't have undergrads for a very long time, and no dorms either. So they decided to let a private company build student housing. It was their way of outsourcing all those dorm problems that become university administration problems to somebody else.

      That way they can try to mandate their own rules, while ignoring most the problems. I hated living at Waterview.
      • God fucking dammit.
        Look.
        If you are a school or landlord, you are not given the right to break the law.
        If the FCC says something is illegal, than it is.

        How the fuck is this difficult to comprehend? /yes, I know schools abuse their students who live in dorms, and get away with it because the students, almost by definition, have no money to sue. /not full of angst.
    • by SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @08:54AM (#10284335) Journal
      and amateur radio equipment as necessary.

      Which part of the FCC rules specifically allow this? Not the one that allows for the placement of satellite TV dishes (47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000) for fixed wireless signals. The FCC Fact Sheet [fcc.gov] specifically states in one paragraph:

      "Fixed wireless signals" are any commercial non-broadcast communications signals transmitted via wireless technology to and/or from a fixed customer location. Examples include wireless signals used to provide telephone service or high-speed Internet access to a fixed location. This definition does not include, among other things, AM/FM radio, amateur ("HAM") radio, Citizens Band ("CB") radio, and Digital Audio Radio Services ("DARS") signals.

      Yes, I can put up a 2M whip in an exclusive use area (a back porch exclusively for my own use). But I couldn't get away with much for the >= 20M band.
      • You probably should clarify: Legal bodies (states/towns/counties) must make "reasonable accomodation" according to PRB-1 [arrl.org] and various state equivalent pieces of legislation.

        However, the federal level PRB-1 does not cover covenents [arrl.org], as the FCC was hesistant to rule on the matter. I do not recall if any of the state level ones attempt to do so. I have not seen a discussion on what the FCC said about renting, although I presume that falls in a simialar category.

        The Amateur Radio Relay League has a lot of ma [arrl.org]

    • I really don't see what all the fuss was about with Janet's "wardrobe malfunction". The video clip I saw, that tit could just as easily have been a baseball or a big scoop of icecream. Enlarging the image just made it really fuzzy...

      Or did some TV channel manage to get a High Def pin sharp image?? I'd bet that a large fraction of the live audience didn't even realize what had happened until after the show.

      Not that I really care - I'm sure there are better looking boobs on much better looking girls...

      • by Detritus (11846) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @10:27AM (#10284576) Homepage
        It bothered me. Not because I have an aversion to looking at unclothed women. My immediate reaction was that this was a stupid and deliberate attempt to be shocking or "extreme", dreamt up by some moron in the marketing department at MTV. People, including families, who tune in the Superbowl, shouldn't be subjected to that sort of crap.
        • I'm with you on the "stupid and deliberate attempt to be shocking" theory. I just think that the media should have left it alone, with maybe a 5 second sound bite along the lines of "Ms Jackson's right tit was briefly exposed, but she was so far away that nobody got a good look". As usual, it was completely blown up out of all proportion in the mad scramble to attract just a few more viewers.
        • People, including families, who tune in the Superbowl, shouldn't be subjected to that sort of crap.

          Yeah, I guess Superbowl fans weren't breast-fed as children and were thoroughly shocked and psychologically damaged by this unexpected view of a heretofore unknown and alien part of her anatomy.

        • My immediate reaction was that this was a stupid and deliberate attempt to be shocking or "extreme", dreamt up by some moron in the marketing department at MTV.

          I'm prepared to accept the "OOPS!" explanation.

          Janet's breast was a tad droopy. (Not bad at all, especially for someone her age, but not fully self-supporting either.)

          If the flash had been deliberate, it would have been trivial to design the costume (which WAS custom) to provide the small amount of support required to show it off to best advanta
    • UTD didn't own the apartments in question, even if they did they aren't allowed to prohibit their tenants from establishing legal wireless links. FCC regs allow tenants the ability to place dishes as necessary, antennas as necessary (so long as they're legal), and amateur radio equipment as necessary. Landlords cannot interfere with the above legal placements. End of story.

      Not quite true... this ruling has no affect on apartment dwellers, it only pertains to condo & managed living areas. (like coven

      • No, it does allow for apparment dwellers to install antennas, as well as things other than dishes (smaller than 1 meter for any of the above)

        From the FCC Fact Sheet [fcc.gov]: Effective January 22, 1999, the Commission amended the rule so that it also applies to rental property where the renter has an exclusive use area, such as a balcony or patio.
        and
        Yes. Antennas designed to receive and/or transmit data services, including Internet access, are included in the rule
  • Told ya so (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    There were several postings on the original story that pointed out the FCC rules. Does anyone know if they were instrumental in getting the ban lifted? ie. Did a student see a posting and then point out the rules to the university?
  • by Slayk (691976) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @07:46AM (#10284197)
    Not only was the ban lifted, but an apology was issued from the head of IR at UTD. He took full responsibility for the ban (which wasn't run by him before being put in place, afaik) and the less than tactful accusations in the notice.

    Anyway, there's been much geek rejoicement over the past week.
  • Wow. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 18, 2004 @08:01AM (#10284222)
    You know you must really suck at your job if a federal body steps in to tell you you're doing it wrong...
    • You know you must really suck at your job if a federal body steps in to tell you you're doing it wrong...

      Either that or you must be doing something really, inherently right. With these federal bodies, you can never really tell.

  • Back in my day... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 18, 2004 @08:10AM (#10284248)
    When I lived at Waterview... me and my friends didn't have all this fancy shmancy wireless stuff, so we buried hundreds of feet of coax cable underground between multiple apartments.

    Sure it wasn't too efficient, but it was fun.
    • so we buried hundreds of feet of coax cable underground between multiple apartments.

      For a moment, I though that read

      "so we buried coax cable hundreds of feet underground between multiple apartments."

      I know some people like to make sure their slashdot access is available at all times, but that seemed rather extreme.

  • Rights (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gr8_phk (621180) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @08:30AM (#10284287)
    So is it like: The law says you have the right to use the unlicenced spectrum? Or is it that ONLY the FCC can regulate the spectrum? How does this compare to Non-disclosure agreements restricting your first amendment rights? Or any other contract that allows one to voluntarily restrict your rights? I bet the school can disallow guns on campus as a condition of attending. You mean the FCC has more power than the constitution? I'm confused - not taking sides, just confused.


    Any lawyers in the house?

    • Re:Rights (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 18, 2004 @08:41AM (#10284310)
      As state institution, they have to follow the constitution. They cannot say "We dont like the way the federal government is working, so we will simply ignore their laws". They cannot just decide that Part 15 doesn't exist and re-implement band plans and regulations of said bands.

      Secondly, there are limits as to what contracts can and cannot allow. The FCC has said that landlords cannot prohibit the private use of spectrum. There is no constitutional right to free-for-all contracts.

      There are also a few cases where this is shown, one case involving a municipial airport authority trying to regulate 802.11b and struck down by FCC, and another case of apartments trying to regulate use of wireless and struck down.
      • IANAL, but from a common-sense legal point of view this is nonsense. Basic contract law says that two parties can negotiate an enforceable contract to do anything that is not illegal. "Not transmitting from my residence in the 802.11 band" is surely a legal activity: therefore I should be able to agree to do it in return for, e.g., housing or an education. I liked the analogy of an earlier poster, who likened this to prohibiting hot plates in your dorm room. Is this somehow not OK because the UL has cert

      • So FCC regulations trump everyone. That's what I was getting at. Why then doesn't the 2nd amendment trump state or local gun laws? Not that I favor it, but why can a company require employees not to carry guns to work as a condition of employment (even if they have a CCW permit). Clearly the constitution has more authority than the FCC, so what part of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" is vague enough to allow this discrepancy in school/workplace rules vs the FCC regulat
    • Re:Rights (Score:3, Informative)

      by nolife (233813)
      That is an interesting point. I believe it boils down laws are passed based on what the current society will tolerate.
      The FCC has very specific rules and wording that does not allow a landlord/property owner/housing association etc.. to limit your ability to pickup and use certain pieces of the radio spectrum. I am not aware of any national laws that specific for guns or alchohol. I guess using the the radio spectrum is more of a passive activity so it was able to get through the process to become a law
      • I guess you never noticed the various federal prohibitions on certain types of arms, FDA and ATF regulation of alcohol, or Prohibition.

      • Actually, many FCC regulations are passed by the board - they are not laws, they are regulations. Congress has given the FCC the authority to regulate the airwaves and may pass laws to help with this, but the FCC has always demonstrated quite a bit of leeway in enforcing rules as it sees fit.

        When they still had the heirarchy, getting a first class radiotelephone license granted an individual a certain amount of "power" to assist the FCC in enforcement. You could even carry a badge if you so chose, as a pub

    • The way I read it, it looks like the FCC said, "that's OUR spectrum to allow or deny access to. Don't you make policy regarding OUR spectrum." I don't think it's a constitutional issue at all, just the FCC enforcing their Federal mandate to regulate spectrum usage.
    • Re:Rights (Score:2, Informative)

      by sangreal66 (740295)
      NDA agreements don't restrict your first amendment rights. The first amendment doesn't grant you the right to say whatever you want, rather it prohibits congress from restricting what you can say. Schools can disallow guns because there are no laws prohibiting them from doing so. The 1934 Communications Act, however, gives the FCC sole authority over regulating the airwaves meaning the FCC is the ONLY body that can tell people where they can, and cannot use antennas. If Congress passed a law saying the depa
  • My University (Score:4, Informative)

    by Deliveranc3 (629997) <`gro.4level' `ta' `ecnareviled'> on Saturday September 18, 2004 @09:43AM (#10284464) Journal
    I just spoke with the University of Guelph resnet (I used to work there wanted job)...

    It's banned on campus here as well with no plans to remove the ban.

    When I enquired further no response was given but I was lead to believe it was a policy decision not a technical descision (security is a technical problem).
  • by AnimusF6 (765091) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @09:44AM (#10284468)
    Keep in mind that UTD is not the only educational institution that has banned WAP. Dickinson College http://lis.dickinson.edu/AboutLIS/Policies/wireles s.htm [dickinson.edu] here in Pennsylvania is, I imagine, one of many others. It may be a small little place, but we should be just as worried. It would be a shame if the enforcement of it's WAP policy were to be used as precedent. Yes, it violates federal law, but I'm not sure how much it would take to convince the FCC (either current or Kerry's) that the college was right and law had to be changed... Does anyone know of other institutions that have violated this law?
    • by frdmfghtr (603968) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @10:11AM (#10284539)
      Why be worried? The college is banning the installation/use of unauthorized WAPs on the campus network.

      From your referenced webpage:

      You may be one of the growing number of people who have installed a wireless (WiFi) network in your home. While it is easy to install a wireless access point (WAP), the current state of the technology does not lend itself to securely installing one on the campus network. An unsecured WAP on campus represents a network vulnerability.

      You want to have a WAP in your apartment? Fine, as long as you are paying for the Internet connection from a commercial ISP and are administering your own network.

      As far as no unauthorized WAPs being added to the campus network, I'm all for it. How can the campus IT department keep out unauthorized access to its network if students are adding their own wide-open WAPs?
      • Actually the referrenced page is distinctly ambiguous. Portions of the text explicitly refer to connections to the campus network while other portions apparently encompass any WAP on campus at all. I suspect the author never explicitly considered independant WAPs on campus and thus had/generated no coherent policy for that area.

        It couls quite plausibly be enforced under either interpretation. Barring further information I would suspect the original poster is most familiar with how it is being impemented.

        -
      • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @12:36PM (#10285150) Homepage
        As a network admin at a major university, I have to chime in here.

        We tend to go out and slaughter morons who put wireless access points on our network. Why? Well, it's rather simple.

        First, we have our own wireless network. It has a sentry authentication system that keeps access restricted to only those with an account. The primary reason for this is so that we can track usage; if someone decides to do something illegal or waste bandwidth, we have a log telling us exactly what IP was on at what time and can track them down so we can kill, or at least slap them around some.

        Second, a WAP on one of our own networks opens the network to anyone with a laptop. Not only can they use our network without authorization, but they can swipe the IP's of important systems, resulting in Denial of Service. Additionally, when their Windows craptops eventually get 0wn3d by some virus, they'll start spewing crap out to the Internet from one of our IP's. Who gets the shit from other ISP's complaining about it? WE DO! And we have no idea who to kill (or at least maim a bit) since the access wasn't authenticated in any way.

        Anyway, that's the point of view of an actual admin.

        -Z
        • Where on earth are you? Here in the "backwards south" I can go to the local university library, plug in my laptop, and do pretty much anything I want or need to do. No ID card, no "members only" - as a taxpayer I should be able to use certain facilities of my local, taxpayer supported, university... and I can.

          There is wireless support as well as wired, but I have never tried the wireless so I do not know if the encryption engine they use requires a university network account. But considering anyone with a

    • I'd just like to point out that The College of New Jersey [tcnj.edu] is another campus that has banned wireless access points as installed by students.
  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @10:56AM (#10284684) Homepage
    My school [wfu.edu] has a new spiffy wireless network too, but they still have an old wired one. Nevertheless I believe I have seen a regulation [wfu.edu] stating that no access points [wfu.edu] are to be allowed on campus, and that certain varieties of cordless phones were going to be, if not banned, Strongly Strongly discouraged. I'm "in" with the technology program here (evaluating the occasional gadget, like the new printer/scanner/copier devices) so I know how to inform these people of stuff like this.

    It seems that they are more interested in banning the devices which use this part of the spectrum rather than the actual use. Would this make any difference? I mean, they're already banning toasters and the like (though it's not that people who like toast can't find it anyway . . .)

    • I took interest in your post becasue I have a cousin who is a senior at WFU and an uncle who is a former instructor there. I think that the spirit of that regulation is that you cannot have an access point attached to their network which is legal for them to say. If you want to setup your own network you certainly could have an AP, and if they stopped you that would be illegal.

      What concerns me more is the prohibition of non-900MHz cordless phones. This clearly IS illegal and YOU should make a stink about i
  • Let me get this straght, If someone is an employee for a company, and he has a wireless laptop and wants to use it that way, and he buys a linksys and plugs it in out of the box without any security, the company cannot do anything about it and some wardriver can come around, hit it, hack the network and drive away.

    I don't know about you but it sounds scary to me.
    • by Slayk (691976)
      The company would have plenty of recourse to fire him. This does not give a person the right to make networks insecure with an access point. It just ensures that your personal access point in an area where you have controll over (such as an apartment the student has leased, in this case) can't be disallowed because the landlord decided to put up their own.

      The naughty businessman theory fails for a few reaons.
      1. They could fire him for attaching an unauthorized device to the network.
      2. They could fire him
      • looking back it probably wasn't the best decision to use a company in this situation, basicially cause your not living at our job unlike in a residentual environment, where a landlord can not just flat out fire you.

        Basicially the FCC says that consumers have the right to install and operate wireless access points. that means that they have a right to plug a wap into the UTD's network (since they live in this building hard wired for UTD access Im guessing) and UTD can't say a damn thing, and then the wardri
    • The FCC rule that was being violated involves a tenant-landlord relationship, which is what exists between a university and students living in university housing. No such relationship exists between employees and employers.
  • Make a policy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Foxxz (106642) on Saturday September 18, 2004 @12:13PM (#10285026) Homepage
    You may not be able to ban the devices, but you can make a policy prohibiting them from being hooked to your network.

    -Foxxz
  • by A non moose cow (610391) <slashdot@rilo.org> on Saturday September 18, 2004 @12:34PM (#10285140) Journal
    I had an apartment at UTD and thought it was cool that I could get free Internet access through the schools wireless. I previously had a setup of three machines that were connected to a wired router and from there to a DSL line. When I moved into the UTD Waterview apartments, I just bought a wireless bridge to plug into the wan side of my router.

    The lan side of my router was serving DHCP. I had to plug the bridge into the lan side in order to configure it. Once it was configured, there was an immediate tug of war between the campus dhcp serving 10.x.x.x and my router serving 192.168.x.x.

    If I got a 10.x.x.x address, I could use the campus network with my bridge on the inside of my network. My anttenna was apparenlty stronger than the campus antennas at that point, because when I looked at my router's arp table, I saw that I had actually served 200+ campus machines a 192.168.x.x ip address. Since my router had nowhere to route that traffic, I had effectively broken the campus network for a signifigant number of machines.

    The reason this happened is that the campus antenna network is pretty weak. So weak in fact that once I had everything set up to play nicely, I realized that My machine was often starving for an IP address or more bandwidth. I ended up ordering Comcast Cable. I actually considered plugging my bridge back into the lan side of my router so people could use my Comcast connection when I wasn't using it.

    BTW, the UTD campus Wifi can be a pain to use, because when connecting, you must always use a web browser first. The UTD system intercepts your first web traffic and throws you back a campus wifi login page instead. Once you log in, all types of traffic are allowed. The problem with this is that if the first thing you do is open usenet, or check pop email, etc. It just appears that the connection is down because you have not logged in yet.

    I didn't get around to it, but I was going to have a similar scheme where people who connected to my router would be served a page that said, "this is not UTD internet access, it is a private Comcast connection. click Ok to verify that you understand this, or click quit to attempt to get to the UTD network again" I also wanted the page to have a check boxes for "remember me and always accept this alternate connection when available", and another for "remember me, and always reject this alternate connection because I'm not sure I trust it". A record of mac addresses would allow me to do that.

    another thing this experience made me realize, is that with my Comcast connection and the campus ssid, I could offer wireless access silently to anyone who was in range, which would allow me to eyeball all of their traffic at leisure.
  • I replied to the previous article without a full understanding of the issues, but now that I know a whole lot more I have to comment again. If this housing is owned by the university, then the students are subject to the university because first of all, they are students, and second, the university is their landlord. I suspect that the laws differ from place to place regarding what additional regulations the university can enforce, but I am willing to believe that they are within their rights to deny stud
    • That's another good point.

      Does the FCC say that a student's WAP on college property that's interfering with the college's own network have to be allowed?
    • by rfc1394 (155777) <Paul@paul-robinson.us> on Saturday September 18, 2004 @01:57PM (#10285628) Homepage Journal
      I replied to the previous article without a full understanding of the issues, but now that I know a whole lot more I have to comment again. If this housing is owned by the university, then the students are subject to the university because first of all, they are students, and second, the university is their landlord.

      The Denver Airport as well as Massport in Boston wanted to require tenants to use its (for pay) wifi network and prohibited them from setting up their own, claiming that since they own the airport they have the right to restrict tenant use over the wireless space. The FCC stated in a ruling that it alone has exclusive jurisdiction over radio frequency space regulation and a legitimate tenant has the same right to use unlicensed radio-frequency space as any other user, and that no one else, state or local government, nor any private party including a landlord, has authority to regulate or control use of unlicensed radio-frequency space.
      • Yes I think that you have that correct. Now, if this WAS a College owned building with ethernet jacks in each room, they would definitely be within their right to forbid them being connected because it's physically being connected to their network. They are not saying you can't buy cable and a cable modem and setup your own in that kind of policy and they are not breaking a FCC law either by regulating what devices can be connected to the campus network.
    • Let's say I own some land.

      The right to build on my land: mine, and I can deny it to anyone as I choose.

      The right to walk on my land: mine, and I can put up fences and no trespassing signs.

      The right to live on my land: mine, and I can sell it.

      The right to fly over my land in an airplane: not mine. Belongs to the FAA. I cannot restrict this right or charge others for it.

      The right to protect my property: mine. I can require tenants to refrain from activities which would damage the property, like the us
  • They should have an editor fire a round of moderations on all the comments from the last post. Why does it matter? Cause in the archives as you do searches on the subject we will find out how horribly wrong we were (in majority).
  • I am so proud to be a UTD alum right now.

    NOT!
  • 'the discovery of an FCC ruling prohibiting such a move

    And did they, per chance, discover this rule on Slashdot the day their ban was reported here?

  • Universities which try to regulate use of the ISM bands are engaging in illegal spectrum theft. It's like putting up a toll gate on a public road.

    If they want a controlled network, they have to license spectrum from the FCC, like Ricochet [ricochet.com]. Educational institutions can usually get a good deal on spectrum. But they can't just arbitrarily take spectrum.

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