Wireless Network Radio Spectrum Policy

Wireless networks pose a security challenge and are subject to interference from other wireless devices that use the same frequency range as the network.

In order to ensure the highest level of wireless network security and service to our users, we need cooperation from all members of the University community to minimize interference from other devices.


The URI wireless network uses the unlicensed FCC 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Telecommunications transmission within these frequencies conforms to the IEEE 802.11 DSSS (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum) and OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) wireless LAN specifications. This technology is commonly known as 802.11a/b/g.

Other wireless devices new to the marketplace and currently in development can create interference for the campus wireless network. These devices include but are not limited to, some cordless telephones, wireless video transmitters, some wireless audio speakers, Bluetooth enable devices, and similar IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN devices that have not been installed by the University’s Media and Technology Services (MTS) staff. Examples of these are wireless access points from Apple (AirPort), Dell, and Linksys.

Problems can also result from individuals and departments deploying electronics across campus that use the same radio frequencies. Wireless access points that have not been installed by MTS pose the most serious threat. In addition to causing interference with institutionally-supported network access points, they can compromise network security and the confidentiality of transmitting data.


The University of Rhode Island reserves the right to restrict use of all 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz radio devices in University-owned buildings and outdoor spaces on University property. As new wireless communications technologies emerge, additional frequencies may be appended to this policy.

Having the responsibility of managing frequencies in all URI locations, MTS is authorized to order any individual or entity to immediately cease operation of a wireless device that interferes with the integrity of wireless services.

Therefore, if you own a device or are planning to purchase one that may use the 2.4 or 5 GHz transmission frequencies, please email the Help Desk or call 874-HELP so we can help you determine the frequency.

We will also provide secure, University-authorized, wireless network access for owners of access points that have already been deployed before requesting that they be turned off.

In cases where a device is being used for a specific application, we will work with you to determine how the device can be accommodated without causing interference to wireless users. Your cooperation and assistance in complying with this policy is needed and appreciated!

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