Iowa State University, once honored as a leading school for getting computers wired to the Internet, has now been recognized as one of the country’s most UN-wired campuses. Angela Bradley is vice-president of telecommunications at Iowa State and says computers are going through an evolution similar to what telephones have done.Bradley says it’s a well-wired campus, and wireless technology offers complementary technology. Whereas being wired to the internet lets computer users go fast and not have to share much bandwidth, wireless permits them to move around with a portable computer. Just as students once took a book to read on the campus green, Bradley says now they can sit under a tree with a wireless laptop computer. They’ve covered over 50 acres of the central campus green at ISU, and Bradley says “we would love to see kids out there usin’ it.” Bradley says the job’s not done — ISU is constantly expanding areas covered by computer networks, especially the wi-fi signals that will let any student or staff log on, in the residence halls and atriums and even at bus stops. But there are only a few channels used for wireless computer signals, and Bradley says there’s a lot of competition that bandwidth, and the potential for lots of interference. Besides other wireless access points and other people’s computers, there are microwaves, cellphones and cordless phones that use the spectrum so you have to be careful how you set thing up. That’s why the campus network is handled by engineers, and students are told not to set up their own private “wi-fi” systems in a dorm room. Security’s another big issue, she says, and network administrators take careful steps to make wireless as well as wired connections protected against eavesdropping and “hacking.” ISU allows only students, faculty and staff with an assigned computer ID to use its connections, wired and otherwise. Badley says ISU is responsible for the actions of people on its network and would have to know if any had done something questionable or illegal and track that — so you need a network ID to connect even to the wireless network. While people on a major campus may expect to be well-connected to the computer age, Bradley says it’s also the wave of the future for the rest of Iowa as well. Bradley says “people would like to be connected anywhere they go, whether they’re driving or walking or eating lunch.” She says those who expect to be able to check their stock quotes or e-mail and view classes online now will grow up to be connected wherever they are in the future. To see the report on the nation’s most “un-Wired campuses,” copy this link: