A million times a month, CANARIE enables mobile research and learning

When visiting an institution, faculty, staff, and students seamlessly access free, secure campus Wi-Fi networks using eduroam, a service of CANARIE’s Canadian Access Federation

[Ottawa, ON | 29 November 2012] CANARIE, the operator of Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network and the Canadian Access Federation, today announced that more than one million times a month, Canadian students, staff and faculty visiting educational institutions are able to seamlessly access campus WiFi networks, without having to use a guest ID or password.


The eduroam service offered through CANARIE’s Canadian Access Federation (CAF) makes it easy for students, staff, and faculty to remain connected while away from their home institutions – both in Canada and in more than 57 countries around the world. Users from institutions that participate in CAF use their home institution’s login credentials to access Wi-Fi networks when visiting other institutions that participate in CAF.

CANARIE has seen the number of successful logins to the eduroam service triple in the past year, and double in the past five months. As of the end of September there were just over one million successful logins to eduroam, an indication of Canadians’ increasing need for digital mobility.

eduroam is available at more than 50 sites in Canada, including universities, colleges, and large scientific facilities. Internationally, Canadians use eduroam to access campus Wi-Fi networks at hundreds of educational institutions in 57 countries, supporting today’s globally collaborative and connected research and education communities.

An additional benefit of the service is that participating institutions do not have the extra labour (and security risk) of creating, monitoring and deleting temporary or guest accounts for visitors.

In addition to the eduroam service, CAF also allows participants to access restricted web-based resources (like journals and research data sets) using their home credentials, through a similar identity and access-management protocol.

“Our community is mobile and connected,” notes Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE. “It is not unusual for a researcher to have multiple connected devices, like both a laptop and a smartphone or tablet, and to routinely visit other institutions in the course of their work. Supporting that mobility is a key objective of the Canadian Access Federation.”

“By participating in CAF, we effectively minimize the effort required to support both visitors to our campus and the mobility of ours,” points out Bo Wandschneider, CIO and Associate Vice President Information Technology Services at Queen’s University. “It is becoming an essential service supporting students, staff and faculty.”


The Canadian Access Federation (CAF) is operated by CANARIE. CAF provides a trusted access- management environment for Canadian research and higher education communities:

  • CAF enables staff, students, and faculty to access wireless networks and web-based resources using their home organization credentials when they are visiting other organizations in Canada and around the world;
  • CAF allows participants to participate in a cost-effective, privacy-preserving approach to access management;
  • CAF helps to ensure the privacy of personal information by eliminating the need for researchers, students, and educators to maintain multiple, password-protected accounts;
  • and CAF enables organizations to better manage access to their resources based on a user’s status and privileges as presented by the user’s home organization.

More than 70 institutions and service providers in Canada participate in CAF.

How it works: Jacques, a student from McGill University which is a CAF participant, is meeting with fellow researchers at the University of Victoria. Since the University of Victoria is also a CAF participant, Jacques is automatically granted access to the Wi-Fi network while he is on campus there, as eduroam would have verified his identity using his McGill ID and password. He doesn’t have to visit either the University of Victoria or McGill IT department for a temporary account. This gives him access to the Internet, without allowing him access to the University of Victoria internal network, databases, or applications.

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For more information, please contact: Wynn Anne Sibbald
Communications Manager
(613) 943-5432


CANARIE Inc. is Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network. Established in 1993, CANARIE manages an ultra high-speed network that supports leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. One million researchers, scientists and students at over 1,100 Canadian institutions, including universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network. Together with 12 provincial and territorial advanced network partners, CANARIE enables researchers to share and analyze massive amounts of data, like climate models, satellite images, and DNA sequences that can lead to groundbreaking scientific discoveries. CANARIE is a non-profit corporation supported by membership fees, with the major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.

CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a vibrant digital economy. For additional information, please visit: www.canarie.ca .

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