June 2010

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We’re delighted to announce a major expansion of the ResNet Wireless service to more residences.

Over the summer vacation we’ll be installing wireless coverage for all study bedrooms at Badock, Durdham, Goldney, The Hawthorns, and University Hall. This is in addition to the flood wireless coverage we already have at Northwell House, 115 Queens Road, Richmond Terrace & Winkworth House. It means by this autumn 38% of university study bedrooms will have wireless coverage.

In the five new residences we’re also installing the latest 802.11n wireless access points. This means that if your computer supports it you’ll have even faster wireless access.

See the list of residences with ResNet to check if your hall has ResNet, wired or wireless. We are mainly putting wireless in the self catering residences first, so you can get access in kitchens and lounges as well as bedrooms. We are also doing those we can do relatively cheaply, which depends on the geography and building materials of the hall. Some of the older halls with big thick stone walls will be tricky, so we’ll do those towards the end.

If we aren’t covering your hall yet – sorry about that. You can set up your own wireless router in your room, provided you secure it carefully so no one else can use it. You can also use the free wireless hotspots in public areas of the halls, such as bars, JCRs and libraries.

It’s going to take another three years or so to complete the wireless rollout, as all this wireless kit gets very expensive. But our ambition is for Bristol to be the first big UK university to provide wireless in bedrooms across all its halls, just as we were the first UK uni to provide a wired service back in 1998. We think we’re some way ahead of other unis already!

It’s the last week of the summer term and the vacation beckons. Thanks for using ResNet this year! Whether you are staying or leaving, here’s some final info from ResNet and an opportunity to shape a new service from the university.

Have your say on a new email service for Bristol students

The university is looking to create a new email for life service for students and alumni. This would be provided under contract with the university by either Google or Microsoft. We’d like to know what you think about this. Please see http://www.bristolresnet.net/2010/06/16/new-email-service/ for more info and to comment.

Leaving halls? Get broadband in private accommodation

If you’re moving into private accommodation next year you’ll want to sort out an Internet connection. Unfortunately you can’t get ResNet, but we have a guide to help you choose a broadband provider – see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/broadband/

Staying for the summer? Watch the World Cup on ResNet with Freewire TV

With Freewire you can watch 25 channels of live TV including BBC1 and ITV1 on your computer on ResNet. Freewire doesn’t count towards your ResNet usage allowance. See
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/resnet/using/freewire/ to get started.


the ResNet team

The university is looking to create a new email for life service for students (and in time alumni). This would be available to all new students after a certain date, while current students could opt in to it. We’d like to know what you think about this so we can plan the service accordingly.
The university is looking to create a new email for life service for students (and in time alumni). This would be available to all new students after a certain date, while current students could opt in to it. We’d like to know what you think about this so we can plan the service accordingly.
The key advantages include:
  • much larger mailboxes – eg 7GB or more
  • a friendlier and more modern webmail to replace Squirrelmail
  • you could keep the same email address after graduation, useful when applying for jobs

The email address would include your name (which you could choose), your year of entry, and ‘bristoluniversity’, though it wouldn’t be @bristol.ac.uk. For example Edward Smith who started in 2009 might be Ted.Smith.2009 <at> bristoluniversity.org.uk We haven’t decided on the domain after the @ yet, there are a few possibilities.

Separately you’d be able to choose at which address you want to receive official emails from the university. It could be at this new address or any other address you already have. Whichever is convenient to you, as it is important that you read these regularly.

There are two big firms offering this service to universities – Google and Microsoft. Both offer it free of charge, as they are keen to get students using their products. Quite a few unis already do student email this way, including UWE, Warwick and UCL. Emails aren’t stored onsite at the university, they are stored in a data centre run by the supplier. On the web you sign in through the portal, but then webmail functions like Google Mail or Outlook Web Access. You can also access email on your mobile phone.

We’ve got lots more info and FAQs (available to logged-on Bristol students & staff only).

We are at quite an early stage in this and we’d like to know what you think. Do you like the idea? Do you have any problems with it? What would you like to see in the service and how should it work?

Now is a great time to get in touch, so the plans can change according to feedback. You can comments on this blog, on the wiki, or email Nick.Skelton <at> bristol.ac.uk. Thoughts are welcome from anyone with an interest – current students, prospective students, alumni.

Thanks for your help!

It has been a long-term goal for the ResNet team to have a firewall placed between ResNet and the rest of the University’s network.  Over the past few months we have made the necessary changes to our infrastructure and today have made this live.  Essentially, nothing should have changed from a user’s perspective as all previous rules on the ‘main’ firewall have been copied to the ResNet firewall.

If nothing has changed then why have we done this?

The answer to this is greater flexibility in how we separate ResNet (a network of personally owned machines) from the rest of the University’s managed network.  Our intention is to give ResNet attached devices full access to the University’s educational resources but limit access to unnecessary things such as faculty desktops; something that has previously been impossible to do.

In the unlikely event that something which previously worked, now does not, then please contact the Help Desk via the usual channels.