Alcides Fonseca

40.197958, -8.408312

A rant about Eduroam

Eduroam is the European university network system that allows me to authenticate in any university with the email provided by my current (or former) universities.

While this sounds like a good idea, I would rather have open wireless all around campus. Here are a few scenarios that would be improved:

  • Future prospect students come to visit our campus. They do not have internet access.
  • There is an international conference with several non-European scholars visiting. They do not have internet access.
  • There is a local conference with industry members. They do not have internet access.

Just like Public University libraries should be open to the general public, so should be the internet access (and the publication access it provides). Requiring authentication prevents several people from accessing useful resources. And having a guest username and password (common solution for events) is troublesome and has caused me problems in the past.

Besides the obvious blocking an user even if they are randomizing MAC addresses, what is the advantage of authentication in universities’ networks?