Policy on Deployment, Operation,
and Registration Requirements for Wireless Access Points on PennNet
Systems and Computing's Networking & Telecommunications organization
is responsible for the operation of PennNet (Penn's data networks)
and therefore has the authority and responsibility to specify requirements
for any devices connecting to PennNet. This authority extends to
device configuration management, as incorrect or conflicting information
could adversely impact the operation of other network-connected
policy specifies the requirements for Wireless Access Points (APs)
and related wireless LAN infrastructure operating on PennNet. It
also provides related "best practice" recommendations.
purpose of this policy is to specify the requirements and limitations
for wireless LAN operation on PennNet. While wireless LANs can provide
a very efficient and convenient way to maintain access and provide
some limited user mobility, their use under certain circumstances
can cause significant problems (see Risk of Non-compliance, below).
Point or AP--A
device that provides radio signal connectivity for wireless LAN
clients and a wired-network connection, bridging the wireless and
Client--A network node using wireless radio signaling to reach
a network through an association with a wireless AP.
Frequency or Channel--The specific frequency range at which
a given AP and its wireless clients operates within the larger frequency
range used by wireless Local Area Networks.
Risk of Non-compliance
standard 802.11 networks operate using unlicensed wireless spectrum.
Given that, only a very small number of wireless APs can be in active
operation within a given geographic area without creating performance-degrading
interference for each other. Even given limited deployment, it is
important to have the AP frequency settings configured in a non-interfering
way. For this reason, coordination among those operating wireless
LAN APs is essential.
policy applies to any device acting as a wireless AP on PennNet
and/or in any University of Pennsylvania building.
running a wireless AP must register the AP with ISC Net-working
& Telecommunications at www.upenn.edu/computing/pennnet/AP/.
ISC Networking & Telecommunications reserves the right to
disallow the registration and operation of an AP if it would result
in a conflict with another serving the same area.
APs may need to be shut down or reconfigured at a later date if
another academic or administrative unit in the area experiences
interference in the relevant frequency ranges.
IP addresses handed out by an AP must be registered in accordance
with the Policy on the use of PennNet IP address space at www.isc-net.upenn.edu/policy/approved/20000124-ipaddress.html.
- AP devices
acting as DHCP servers must comply with the Policy on the Operation
of DHCP Servers on PennNet at www.isc-net.upenn.edu/policy/approved/20000530-dhcpserver.html.
and Best Practices
following related practices are strongly recommended by ISC Networking
with your School or Center computing director before planning
a wireless LAN. Plans may already exist for broader building-wide
wireless LAN initiatives.
planning of wireless LANs, including use of a formal site survey
process, can significantly reduce later frequency conflicts and
network performance problems. ISC Networking & Telecommunications
can provide assistance in wireless LAN site surveys upon request.
LAN "center frequencies" should be chosen such as to
avoid frequency overlap. The use of only channels 1, 6, and 11
in 802.11 and 802.11b wireless LANs can help to avoid overlap.
cases where access points have variable radio power levels, the
minimal power level that provides the intended coverage should
be chosen so as to limit interference with other devices operating
in that frequency range.
Verification: ISC Networking & Telecommunications does
not plan to actively police the network in an effort to discover
unregistered or misconfigured APs, but will act on those discovered
during the normal course of events in operating and/or troubleshooting
Notification: Notification shall be made to the LSP and/or
server administrator for the area whenever possible and practical.
Remedy: Remedy will normally be the removal of the access
point (AP) from the network until such time as it can be brought
into compliance. ISC Networking & Telecommunications will offer
assistance to the LSP for the area in bringing AP configuration
and registration into compliance.
Financial Implications: Charges may be assessed for time
spent by ISC Networking & Telecommunications in troubleshooting
problems attributable to a non-compliant or misconfigured AP. Please
see the Policy on Troubleshooting Charges for Violations of PennNet
Policies for information on additional fees that may be assessed
to cover the costs incurred in troubleshooting related to violations
of this policy.
Responsibility: Responsibility for remedy lies with those
responsible for the AP and/or the local area network. In the vast
majority of cases, the area LSP will have involvement in the implementation
of the remedy.
Time Frame: Non-compliant servers must be remedied immediately
to reduce risk of networking failures for other network users.
Enforcement: Please see the Policy on Computer Disconnection
from PennNet at www.upenn.edu/computing/policy/disconnect.html.
Appeals: Please see the Appeals section of the Policy on
Computer Disconnection from PennNet at www.upenn.edu/computing/policy/disconnect.html.
Policy on the use of PennNet IP address space at
Policy on the Operation of DHCP Servers on PennNet at
Systems and Computing,
Networking & Telecommunications
Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 12, November 13, 2001