Advisory: eduroam SSID broadcast policy announcement

Download as PDFDownload as PDF

July 2010


The eduroam(UK) Technical Specification will be revised towards the end of this year in relation to broadcasting of the ‘eduroam’ SSID. This will require that organisations participating in eduroam(UK) that are not yet offering operational Visited or Home services must cease widespread broadcasting of the eduroam SSID from access points, however broadcasting of the SSID will be permitted in limited development environments.

The motivation for this change is to avoid user frustration in situations where organisations, when implementing eduroam, have broadcast the eduroam SSID to allow testing but have not yet put in place operational services. Experience has demonstrated that users get frustrated if they are unable to connect to eduroam where the eduroam SSID is being advertised. This is because users assume that if they can see the eduroam SSID there must be a working service. This creates negative perceptions of an unreliable service.

As a consequence of the proposed modification to the Technical Specification, organisations that are not offering operational services will only be permitted to broadcast the eduroam SSID within an appropriately scaled development environment. This is defined as the environment necessary to support the development of the service at the organisation. In the limited number of cases where an operational Home service requires the broadcast of the eduroam SSID (which is permitted), but where no Visited service is offered, the organisation’s eduroam information page must clearly state this. The converse also applies; where a Home service is not available but a Visited service is offered and ‘eduroam’ legitimately broadcast, this must be clearly specified on the organisation’s eduroam information page.

We recognise that in some situations, such as networks without centralised controllers, changing SSIDs settings on a large scale can be a considerable task. Consequently, this policy will not take effect until 31/12/2010. However, where applicable, we urge you to adopt this measure at the earliest opportunity.

Organisations with operational services are reminded that the eduroam SSID must be in lowercase at all access points from which it is broadcast.