New “utexas” Wi-Fi Launch

Posted on: March 26, 2015

On March 16, 2015, Information Technology Services (ITS) launched the new “utexas” Wi-Fi network for campus. The old network, identified as restricted.utexas.edu, will be going away on May 26, 2015. All Wi-Fi devices will need to be moved to the new “utexas” network before the old restricted.utexas.edu network is retired. For the vast majority of the campus community this should be an easy transition.

Why? There was no choice. This is an externally forced change having to do with certificate expirations and the deprecating of one of the Certificate Authority’s root certificates. The new root certification has stronger security built in.

The preparation for this big change, affecting over 200,000 Wi-Fi devices on the campus network, would not have been possible without the support and efforts of many members of the campus IT community. In fall 2014, Networking assembled a task force to review different options and devise a strategy for moving forward with this change. The task force consisted of representatives from:

  • Cockrell School of Engineering
  • College of Education
  • College of Natural Sciences
  • Information Security Office
  • Information Technology Services
  • Jackson School of Geosciences
  • McCombs School of Business
  • Moody College of Communication
  • Academic Technology Support
  • University Libraries

After reviewing several options, the recommendation was to bring up a new, parallel network along with the old to enable incremental migration over the course of several weeks, instead of requiring the entire campus and all 200,000+ devices to change all at once. The task force also decided this would be a good opportunity to shorten the new network name to utexas, which was the original identity of the University’s Wi-Fi network. The proposal was presented to and endorsed by the IT Architecture and Infrastructure Committee in IT Governance in January 2015.

Special thanks go to the ITS Help Desk team – Justin LaSelva , Joshua Alcala, Tay Johnson, Daniel Klein, Eli Miller, Brittany Huelett, Micah Ramirez, Ebenezer Rosiji, Steven Coleman, Ali Homafar, and Zach Goodman and to the Managed IT Support team – Scott Richardson, Tyler Riti , and William Jackson – for the excellent testing conducted and documentation they created in support of the launch. Their work helped to firm up the migration processes for the multitude of platforms and operating systems that use the campus Wi-Fi. And, of course, thanks to Networking for doing all the heavy lifting in the background.

If you have not yet switched over to utexas please do so soon. For instructions, please visit: https://ut.service-now.com/utss/KAhome.do?number=KB0010997

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