Challenges and Benefits of Educational Roaming (eduroam) Service to ZAMREN Member Institutions
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Eduroam (education roaming) is a secure, world-wide roaming service which allows researchers, students and staff from participating education and research institutions access Internet when they visit other participating institutions. Zambia Research and Education Network (ZAMREN) is a specialized Internet service provider with its sole purpose of supporting the needs of the research and education communities in Zambia. As such, there is need for ZAMREN to be service oriented by providing services that could enable research and learning among its member institutions which the commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs) cannot provide. Eduroam if fully utilized could be of great benefit to member academic institutions. Despite the benefits which could be attributed to eduroam, challenges as well exist. Eduroam utilize the combining features of RADIUS-based infrastructure with IEEE802.1X standard technologies which can be timid to some of the technical personnel in most of the member institutions. Individual institutional ICT policy can disadvantage some roaming user in terms of traffic allowed. Users’ confidence in performing sensitive transaction on wireless networks is another hindering factor for fear of eavesdropping. There is also the challenge of low bandwidth capacity at some of the member institutions. The outlined challenges could substantially affect the confidence of users towards eduroam and thereafter its implementation in ZAMREN member institutions. This paper investigates the challenges and implementation of eduroam in Zambia and presents results of the survey conducted on the use of eduroam in the ZAMREN member institutions.