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Wireless Local Area Network (LAN) Systems Policy


This policy outlines a uniform set of components, installation practices, processes, procedures and operational criteria, in order to manage (802.11x) wireless LAN systems and to ensure that these resources are used in a secure and efficient fashion.

Applies to: 

This policy applies to installation and use of all wireless LAN media and media support systems which are installed within the borders of KU's campus (both Lawrence and Edwards) or any remote location/office directly connected to the campus network.

Policy Statement: 

General Policy Provisions

Information Technology has a commitment to provide as ubiquitous wireless coverage as possible in public spaces within resource constraints and priorities.  Priorities for the installation and maintenance of wireless spaces will be determined by the Chief Information Officer in consultation with other university administrators utilizing the following criteria:

·         The population density frequenting a university space, Public Service Areas that are visited by relatively large groups of users will have top priority.

·         Educational or University mission-defined need for the services in the space.

Information Technology (IT) a division of Information Technology, shall act as the central management authority in regulating the installation, maintenance and ongoing management of all 802.11x wireless LAN systems used by the University, as well as spectrum management within the borders of KU's Campus (both Lawrence and Edwards) or any remote location/office directly connected to the campus network.




·         All end-user devices or systems connecting to the enterprise network distribution infrastructure must comply with the same policies, procedures, and practices governing the use and operation of any end user device or system connecting to the university wired network.

·         No WLAN may be placed into operation without advance consultation and registration with IT.

·         All WLAN access point purchases shall be coordinated through IT.

·         All WLAN systems shall be considered University Systems and as such shall be made available to all University constituents.

·         All WLANs will be operated in such a manner that they do not interfere with other WLANs or the University’s enterprise wired data network.

·         All wireless network access shall utilize the enterprise authentication, authorization and encryption mechanisms prescribed by Information Technology.

o        All authentication and authorization exchanges at session initiation shall be encrypted.

o        The decision to encrypt any further transmissions to and from the user device is made by each individual user. The Enterprise WLAN system provides for this option during the initial user authentication process. 


Departmental Responsibilities

·         Departments shall request installation, repair, replacement or the move of an existing access point from IT.

·         Departments shall be responsible for all costs associated with installation, repair or replacement of its access points.


IT Responsibilities

·         IT is responsible for establishing and maintaining standards for 802.11x wireless access points (equipment and installation) for use at the University of Kansas.

·         All WLAN systems shall be installed, configured and managed by IT.

·         IT will maintain a database of access points, their locations, the frequencies in use, the circuit numbers connecting the access points to the University’s Network, and the name(s) of the department’s designated Technical Liaison.

·         IT will attempt to resolve frequency coordination problems between WLAN owners. However, IT cannot guarantee interference-free operation of any WLAN from other unknown or non-university WLAN systems or from other devices operating in the same spectrum as the WLAN.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Units who fail to fully comply with this policy can cause clearly avoidable problems. In order to minimize interference and security problems, systems failing to comply with the above procedures will be identified, located, and disconnected until the problems are resolved and compliance to the policy is confirmed.


Office of the Chief Information Officer
1001 Sunnyside Avenue 
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor; and Chief Information Officer
Approved on: 
Thursday, March 25, 2004
Effective on: 
Thursday, July 1, 2004
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

Spectrum Resource Management: Within its geographic boundaries, the electromagnetic spectrum is viewed as a resource by the University.  The 802.11x. technology operates in an unlicensed portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. This means that the FCC has no role in preventing interference caused by other users of 802.11x technologies, other devices specifically designed to operate in this spectrum, other devices designed for other purposes but that have as a secondary effect, the creation of electromagnetic energy in the frequency range of 802.11x devices.  In order to maximize the efficient utilization of this resource in supporting the University's mission, central coordination in the use of the spectrum is necessary.

The University of Kansas Network Policy allows campus users to access all campus computing facilities from mobile or portable computers. However, this also means that a portion of electromagnetic spectrum used on the campus serves as the transport medium for a part of the campus network. Accordingly, all network and computing policies now apply to that segment of the spectrum on campus.

Network Resource Management: 802.11x wireless devices and systems extend the University’s enterprise wired environment. As with any device extending the University wired network, wireless systems can impact the performance and/or integrity of the University’s wired networks. Therefore, wireless distribution technology, using university wired networks (including data, voice and video) as their source of connectivity, shall be treated as enterprise network infrastructure.  Policies, procedures, and practices governing the use and operation of enterprise network distribution infrastructure also apply to 802.11x distribution technology. Furthermore, wireless network distribution infrastructure is considered as operating in the same university space as any other wired network infrastructure.


IEEE 802.11a/b/g:  Standards for providing wireless Ethernet connectivity.

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN):  An IEEE 802.11a/b/g based system consisting of Wireless User Devices and one or more Access Points that provide wireless based Ethernet connectivity to the University Enterprise Wired Data Network (as defined in the Network Policy).

Wireless User Device:  The end user system or device that accesses the WLAN for data communications purposes.  This will normally be a personal computer or personal digital assistant containing an appropriate wireless network interface card (NIC).

wireless, access points, encryption, portable devices, mobile devices
Change History: 

01/26/2022: Updated contact section.
09/11/2007: Updated to reflect NTS/IT reorganization of responsibility. 

Information Access & Technology Categories: 
Information Technology

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