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Wireless Local Area Network Policy

Chapter 3480
Revised September 2, 2010

Table of Contents

.010 Purpose
.020 Scope
.030 Policy
.040 Definitions
.050 Questions

.010 Purpose

  1. Guide the deployment of all K-State wireless networks to ensure reliable, compatible, and secure operation.
  2. Protect the security of K-State's information resources and electronic communications.
  3. Arbitrate possible interference in the FCC unlicensed radio frequency spectrum used by wireless devices.

.020 Scope

This policy applies to all uses of Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) technologies at all physical locations on the Manhattan and Salina campuses of Kansas State University, both inside buildings and in outdoor areas, and including student residence halls. Exceptions may only be granted by the Chief Information Officer. It does not apply to cellular wireless technology.

All K-State information technology policies apply to the use of K-State's wireless networks, as do all other applicable K-State policies and procedures and all federal, state, and local laws.

.030 Policy

Authority, Standards, and Access

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) or designee is responsible for establishing and enforcing all WLAN technology standards. Any WLAN installation or use that varies from this standard must be approved by the CIO.

K-State Computing and Telecommunication Services (CTS) will be the sole provider of design, specification, installation, operation, maintenance, and management services for all wireless Access Points. Students may not install or operate WLAN Access Points in the residence halls.

Only K-State faculty, staff, students, and authorized visitors may use the K-State WLAN; exceptions must be authorized by the CIO or designee. All university WLANs must be configured according to security standards established by the CIO. The Office of Information Security and Compliance will be responsible for managing the security of the K-State WLAN. All WLAN communications must be encrypted. All wireless devices using the K-State WLAN must be registered with CTS.


WLANs often operate in unlicensed frequency bands shared with other wireless devices that may disrupt the operation of the K-State wireless network. To assure the highest level of service to WLAN clients, the use of devices in the same frequency range as the K-State WLAN is discouraged. In cases of significant interference problems, the owner of the interfering device may be required to cease its operation. In cases where the interfering device is being used for a specific teaching or research application, CTS will work with faculty to mitigate the interference and accommodate the device without disrupting the K-State WLAN. In the event that both cannot operate without interference, use for specific teaching or research applications will take precedence over the general access WLAN. The Chief Information Officer has the authority to require cessation of unauthorized use of wireless devices.

.040 Definitions

Access Point
A network device that serves as a communications "hub" for wireless nodes, typically providing a connection to the wired LAN and therefore transporting data between the wireless and wired networks.
Wireless node
A device, such as a notebook computer or handheld PDA, equipped with wireless data communications capability.
Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)
A wireless network within a limited area consisting of one or more wireless Access Points that provide network connectivity for wireless nodes. In essence, a WLAN provides the functionality of a wired LAN without the physical constraints of the wire.

.050 Questions

Questions regarding this policy should be sent to the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO).