Whilst providing connectivity to guests from other educational organisations or supporting wider public sector collaborations are challenges solved by eduroam and govroam respectively, members still face the need to provide temporary connectivity to visiting members of the general public. Scenarios might include:
- Open days for prospective students and families
- B&B accommodation
- Public facilities such as museums, libraries, theatres, sports venues
- Open access internet terminals
- Commercial interaction such as coffee shops.
Any connectivity service that is available to the general public is legally defined as a public network, whereas most member campuses and Janet itself operate as private networks. The major implication of the difference is the degree and type of record retention required.
However, if it can be demonstrated that the general public’s network traffic is completely segregated from other production traffic on the same medium, for example via an end-to-end encrypted tunnel, Jisc believes that only the contents of the tunnel incur the public network duties, and the rest of the traffic remains under private network rules.
Our advice to members
Our general advice to members has therefore been to partner with an ISP that is built to handle such public network legal responsibilities rather than to try and manage them as part of a DIY solution, and to use VPN technologies to carry traffic between the campus NASes and the ISP’s network – potentially crossing Janet for backhaul between the two via an encrypted tunnel.
Such a mechanism was agreed between Jisc and Sky WiFi (formerly The Cloud) and several members currently offer a general public visitor wireless service provided by this means, tunnelled back to their network over Janet. However, the agreement under which this service is offered over Janet closed to new business in October 2017.
Existing customers are not immediately affected by this change, but will renew at the end of their current contract via our new dynamic purchasing framework.
Our public wifi services dynamic purchasing framework
To replace the previous agreement, we are in the process of procuring a dynamic purchasing framework (DPS) that will allow members to invite bids for public wifi services provision from a number of pre-qualified providers through a lightweight mini-competition process. This is expected to go live in Spring 2018.
Our goals in operating a DPS are:
- To offer members more choice in providers
- To introduce an element of competition between providers to keep standards high and prices low
- To allow us to add new providers and technologies as they enter the market, ensuring that the most current offerings are available to the membership
- To take into account the new requirements of GDPR in recruiting providers for these services, so members can be sure that the services offered will be GDPR-aware and minimise the amount of personal data processed
- To formalise the agreements around encryption standards and peerings for public data crossing the Janet Network, ensuring members don’t find themselves in breach of the Janet acceptable use policy