Wireless networks may not offer the reliability and speed of wired networks but for many their convenience makes them the preferred way to connect to a network whether they are at home, work, or even in an airport. Within Oxford, OUCS provides all of the necessary central services that will allow both members and visitors to connect to the University-wide network via the Oxford Wireless LAN (OWL). Each department or college has made their own decision as to whether to offer wireless networking but there is generally high availability of access to wireless networks. Of course it is still possible to connect to the network with an ethernet cable and when wireless connectivity is not essential this can be a better way to go. As you would expect there are regulations governing the use of IT facilities in Oxford that must be adhered to.
Oxford is part of eduroam, an international federation of academic institutions which allows its users to visit other organizations and use the same username and password as they would use at their home institution. The eduroam service is accessed via the OUCS Remote Access account and Oxford members planning on visting other participating institutions should make sure that their eduroam setup is working correctly in Oxford before leaving. In addition to eduroam the OUCS Remote Access account gives you access to the Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, which allows you to access to restricted resources from outside the campus network. If you are a University member who is going to be working away from Oxford make sure that you register for an OUCS Remote Access account before leaving in order to preserve your access to the restricted electronic library services such as TDNET, OxLIP and WebSPIRS.
Want to call home over the Internet? The Internet telephony and Voice-over-IP (VoIP) service allows you to make telphone calls using the Internet rather than the conventional telephone system which can be a cheap (or even free!) option. Skype is a popular VoIP software product but there are special requirements for its use within the Oxford University network and it must be configured as described.
Departmental and college IT Support Staff are often involved in involved in deploying and supporting their local wireless networking service. Wireless hotspots are required to adhere to the University's Mobile Wireless Networking Regulations. Staff may also need to manage visitor accounts for the OUCS visitor network service.