Transitional Technologies Working Group of eduroam Advisory Committee Develops Community Resource
Edited by Apryl Motley, InCommon Communications Lead
Earlier this year, the eduroam Advisory Committee announced a new and ongoing repository for eduroam Transitional Technologies updates. Intended to complement the established eduroam Best Practices Guide, the Transitional Technologies Repository serves as community guidance surrounding new and emerging 802.1x technologies that may impact the eduroam user experience.
While immediate action may not always be required, it is recommended eduroam administrators consult Transitional Technologies for applicability to their environments and consider both short and long term impacts as it relates to their planning to best optimize the eduroam experience at their site.
Members of the Transitional Technologies Working Group shared their thoughts on why the timing was right for a community resource like this one, how it will benefit eduroam administrators, and what they hope will be their major takeaway.
What made the timing right for developing a resource like the repository?
Amel Caldwell, University of Washington: There are a lot of changes happening in the industry right now that have an impact on the eduroam community, and this provides a means to alert admins to issues they may not be aware of otherwise or only become aware of after they have impacted their users.
Michael Dickson, University of Massachusetts Amherst: There are many changes occurring in 802.1x technology, both at the IETF level and the OS level as well as emerging new ways to authenticate. This working group feels like a good fit to collect and disseminate what’s happening in the industry.
Nadim El-Khoury, Springfield College: Due to the fast-paced technological advancements, a centralized repository is imperative to meet education and research needs in the WiFi space.
Rob Gorrell, University of North Carolina, Greensboro: With the global pandemic, we’ve really seen a culture shift to the importance of mobility that is perfectly suited for eduroam. With increased growth in eduroam participants combined with tackling many of the same challenges, the timing couldn’t be better.
How will it benefit eduroam admins?
Amel Caldwell: We are creating a repository of timely information to help eduroam admins stay ahead of the curve and/or proactively apply fixes to avoid client issues from happening.
Michael Dickson: By proactively offering posts that highlight changes in client OS behaviors, as well as emerging industry wide technologies, we are better positioning eduroam admins to prepare for impacting changes as well as for new and emerging technologies.
Rob Gorrell: Due to eduroam’s distributed nature, there are a variety of implementation choices, some better than others. I hope the benefit is to flatten the learning curve through shared experience.
Nadim El-Khoury: It will be a centralized information hub with up-to-date resources and standardized implementation information to enhance their ability to manage and maintain their eduroam networks.
What do you hope will be their major takeaway?
Nadim El-Khoury: A deep sense of empowerment and confidence in their ability to manage and optimize eduroam networks effectively. Also, feeling they are part of a collaborative eduroam community, where they can share their experiences, learn from others, and contribute their insights.
Michael Dickson: My hope is that the information provided from this working group can better inform eduroam admins about important changes before their clients are impacted.
Rob Gorrell: I hope their takeaway will be in value to individual planning cycles and network refresh processes by better “anticipating” how these transitional technologies can help improve users’ experience and overall mobility if we get out in front of them a bit better.
Amel Caldwell: I hope this repository will become a resource for eduroam admins to visit to find out about trending technology or changes which may have an impact on their users and that they will feel empowered to suggest topics.
For the inaugural Q1 2023 release, three articles were published addressing recommendations around TLS 1.3, Windows 11 22H2, and WPA3 & WiFi6e. This week another article was published on how the Windows Update KB5032288 may impact some eduroam connections. Moving forward, the eAC will continue examining emerging 802.1x technology trends through assembling community guidance and publishing or updating articles on the eduroam Transitional Technologies updates wiki as applicable. Please check back for updates regularly.
About the eduroam-US Advisory Committee
To facilitate stronger and more responsive engagement with the eduroam community, Internet2 sought out knowledgeable, motivated volunteers to form the eduroam Advisory Committee. The eduroam-US Advisory Committee (“eAC”) is intended to be an advisory body to the Internet2 Community Architecture Committee for Trust and Identity (CACTI). Its role is to help formulate strategies and practices for US and global research and education roaming networks, report any findings, and make recommendations to CACTI and Internet2. The eAC meets regularly as well as creating working groups as needed. You can view the committee’s charter, learn more about its mission, and view publicly available meeting minutes on its wiki page.