Printer-friendly version

Airspace Policy

Computing and Technology Services (CTS) has assumed primary responsibility for the design, installation, and operation of the wireless data network environment on the SUNY Potsdam Campus. This system will allow campus users to access all campus information technology resources from mobile or portable computers. However, in order to achieve a robust and stable wireless infrastructure and prevent unintended interference to FCC licensed services, CTS must maintain administrative control of the radio frequency spectrum that wireless devices utilize as their base transport mechanism. These are frequencies in the 2.4, 3.6, and 5 Ghz bands.

802.11b wireless local area networking uses the FCC unlicensed 2.4 GHz Industrial, Scientific, Medical (ISM) band. 802.11a wireless uses the FCC unlicensed 5 GHz unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) band. Additionally, the FCC has recently de-licensed the 3.6 GHz band for similar use. Certain other "wireless" devices exist in the market place that also employ the same 2.4, 3.6, or 5 GHz frequency band and can cause interference to users of the wireless service. These devices include, but are not limited to other wireless LAN devices, cordless telephones, cameras, and audio speakers.

In order to assure the highest level of service to the users of SUNY Potsdam's wireless network, CTS needs help from all members of the campus community in minimizing the potential interference from those devices. CTS requests that use of all other 2.4, 3.6, and 5 GHz devices be discontinued in university-owned buildings. In cases where the device is being used for a specific teaching or research application, CTS requests that the college, department, researcher or faculty member work with CTS to determine the priority and whether there are circumstances under which use of the device may still be accommodated without causing interference to the installed wireless community. Through channel frequency coordination with CTS, it is possible that most devices operating in the same frequency ranges can be accommodated on campus in fixed locations. Where interference issues cannot be resolved working with CTS, the College Administration will determine the priority. CTS's role is to assist those involved by providing the options available for resolution of the interference issues in such cases.

CTS will approach the shared use of the 2.4, 3.6, and 5 GHz radio frequency in the same way that it manages the shared use of the wired network. While it will not actively monitor use of the airspace for potential interfering devices, we will seek out the user of a specific device should we find it causing harmful interference to the campus network or other FCC licensed service. In these cases, CTS reserves the right to restrict the use of all FCC licensed Part 15 ISM and U-NII devices in university-owned buildings and all outdoor spaces on the Potsdam Campus. See the campus computing policies, including those related to responsible use of shared resources, such as the campus airspace, for more details.

If you think you have an existing system that may use 2.4, 3.6, or 5 GHz radios for transmission or you are planning to purchase a wireless system and you are uncertain if it employs such radios, please contact the CTS Helpdesk at x4444 or send E-mail to CTS can assist in determining if such devices will cause interference to the wireless network.