Purdue partners with cities to extend campus Wi-Fi into parts of Lafayette, West Lafayette

June 15, 2015  


Purdue System Chief Information Officer Gerry McCartney (right) meets with Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis at the Riehle Plaza Depot to announce the expansion of Purdue's wireless network into several outdoor locations in Lafayette and West Lafayette. (Purdue News Service photo/Mark Simons)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Thanks to a partnership between Purdue and the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette, students, faculty and staff may now access Purdue’s wireless network in any location where the cities provide public Wi-Fi, including State Street, downtown Lafayette, and Happy Hollow Park.

"By extending Purdue's wireless coverage to more areas in the Greater Lafayette community, we’re enabling students, faculty and staff to roam where they need to while maintaining secure access to tools they need to do their work," said Gerry McCartney, Purdue's system chief information officer, vice president for information technology and Olga Oesterle England Professor of Information Technology. "Our goal is to help individuals stay connected in a convenient and cost-effective way, and we're pleased to partner with the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette to increase mobility for those at Purdue."

In Lafayette, Purdue Wi-Fi will now be available surrounding the Tippecanoe County Courthouse square, Tippecanoe County Public Library, CityBus downtown transfer station and Columbian Park (shelters along Park Avenue, the SIA playground, Memorial Island, Zoo, Loeb Stadium press box area and Tropicanoe Cove). In West Lafayette, Purdue Wi-Fi will be available at the West Lafayette Public Library, West Lafayette Police Department, Tapawingo Park, West Lafayette City Pool, Celery Bog Nature Center, Morton Community Center, West Lafayette Parks Office (near Kalberer Road and Salisbury Street) and the Farmers Market on North Salisbury Street. 


This map of the Greater Lafayette area indicates locations where Purdue's wireless network will be available to students, faculty and staff.

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West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said Greater Lafayette's need for access to technology grows exponentially every year, and that providing free wireless access throughout both cities was the next best step to meeting individuals' needs.

"We have always been two great cities with one great university, and the wireless expansion is coalescing with several other important initiatives, like the State Street Master Plan, to make our community an even more attractive place for people to live and work," Dennis said.

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said that local Internet provider Wintek Corp. worked behind the scenes to make the Purdue network seamlessly available.

"What began in Lafayette as a free public outdoor Wi-Fi project on Main Street in 2012 has now grown to include the Purdue community, and we hope the unlimited access to wireless service will provide one more incentive for students and Purdue staff to venture across the river and take advantage of the attractions in downtown Lafayette," Roswarski said.

Ryan Harrington, Purdue's manager of network engineering and operations, said the expansion provides wireless access in more outdoor spaces, which was requested by members of Purdue's IT Student Advisory Council.

 "The cities already had wireless infrastructure in place and graciously agreed to work with the University to make our Wi-Fi network available to the Purdue community from off campus," Harrington said. "Wintek Corp. is the local provider of the cities' wireless networks, and their employees have been huge proponents of completing this project. Now, thanks to their support, wherever city wireless is available, Purdue's will be there, too."

Brandon Case, the senior network engineer at Purdue who worked on the project, says individuals who join Purdue Air Link (PAL) while off campus will experience the same level of security as they would if they were connecting to the wireless network from within University buildings.

"Because Purdue, Lafayette, and West Lafayette use the same Cisco wireless equipment, we were able to connect Purdue users through the cities’ wireless infrastructure," Case said. "Individuals will still need to enter their Purdue career account user name and password to join PAL, just as they would on campus, to help keep data protected from unauthorized access."

Where accessible, PAL 3.0 will show up in the list of available wireless networks on laptops and mobile devices. Simply click or tap on the PAL 3.0 listing and enter your Purdue career account credentials to connect.

For more detailed information, visit the article about PAL 3.0 in GoldAnswers, Purdue's online information technology knowledge base.

Individuals who have trouble connecting to PAL 3.0 — as well as those who wish to report an area with a malfunctioning access point or poor wireless coverage — may contact the ITaP Customer Service Center by email at itap@purdue.edu, by phone at 765-494-4000 or in person at the ITaP service desk located in the HSSE library.

Writer: Andrea Thomas, ITaP technology writer, 765-496-8204, thomas78@purdue.edu

Sources: Brandon Case, 765-496-7906, caseb@purdue.edu

Ryan Harrington, ryanharrington@purdue.edu

Gerry McCartney, 765-496-2270, mccart@purdue.edu

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