Penn State to offer free Wi-Fi to campus visitors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State will offer free AT&T broadband wireless access beginning June 26 to guests and visitors to the University Park campus thanks to a renegotiated contract between the University and AT&T. The service will be extended to other campus locations by the end of July.

“Because the Penn State community needed a convenient, affordable and policy compliant method to provide free network access for visitors and guests, we were able to renegotiate our contract with AT&T and centralize our funding model to enable campus visitors to have a free-of-charge wireless experience when visiting Penn State campus locations,” said Chuck Enfield, IT manager and chair of the Penn State Visitor Wireless Committee.

Visitors searching for a wireless network on their devices will see "attwifi,” which, once selected, can open any Web browser on their laptop or other wireless enabled device. They will see the AT&T Wi-Fi connection page to agree to the terms of service before being connected to the Internet. Until the free service is activated, visitors to campus will have to pay AT&T via credit card or use free coupon codes available through Software at Penn State to access the visitor wireless network.

The free visitor network, which the University anticipates will be accessed by such visitors as alumni, potential students and their families, faculty and researchers, and others, will offer a more limited bandwidth than the main wireless network used by Penn State students, faculty and staff members.

The free network is not intended for use by anyone other than visitors to Penn State and can accommodate visitors’ general tasks such as checking email and Web browsing. However, like most open Wi-Fi hotspots, the visitor network is an unsecured connection and caution should be used when sending or receiving sensitive information. To alleviate congestion on the attwifi network, the AT&T Wi-Fi connection page will direct current Penn State students, faculty and staff members who have an active Penn State Access Account to connect to the more robust and secure Penn State Wireless network “psu.”

The free visitor wireless service will be offered wherever wireless is available at most Penn State campus locations. Areas that are not covered under this agreement include campus residence halls, the Pennsylvania College of Technology, and facilities and venues serviced through other AT&T Wi-Fi arrangements such as the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the Nittany Lion Inn, The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, Beaver Stadium, Pegula Ice Arena, Bryce Jordan Center and University Park Airport.

Instructions for connecting to the AT&T Visitor Wireless service at Penn State are available at http://wireless.psu.edu/visitorwireless.html. More information about Penn State’s Wireless service is available at http://wireless.psu.edu/.

Visitors having trouble connecting to or using the AT&T Wi-Fi service should contact the AT&T Wi-Fi Technical Operations Center toll-free at 888-888-7520 or email support@attwifi.com.

For more stories about IT at Penn State, visit Current at http://current.it.psu.edu.

Last Updated July 15, 2014