UNC-Chapel Hill Wireless Spectrum Management Policy

Introduction

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Wireless Spectrum Management Policy provides a mechanism for managing the wireless communications spectrum on the UNC Campus.

The UNC-Chapel Hill technology infrastructure is provided to support the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill business and its mission of education, service, and research. Wireless communications for data and voice are an increasingly important part of the overall technology plan of the University. Thoughtful management of that spectrum will improve reliability, availability and security of these services to all members of the campus community.

This policy applies only to over-the-air use of wireless spectrum. It does not include any broadcast over wired systems, such as Cable TV.

Principles and Restrictions

This policy applies to both the licensed and unlicensed portions of the Radio Frequency Spectrum. It does not apply to wireless technologies which are outside of that spectrum, such as Infrared.

Licensed Spectrum

The use of licensed spectrum is controlled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It is the responsibility of the license holder to maintain a valid license and to comply with all applicable Federal, State and Local regulations regarding the use of such equipment. Departments which utilize licensed spectrum must annually report the frequencies used to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for ITS Communication Technologies.

Unlicensed Spectrum

The FCC provides several portions of the RF Spectrum for public use without licensing. While the lack of license requirements provides accessibility, the lack of control increases the likelihood of radio interference.

Currently, the FCC provides the following Spectra for unlicensed use: 902-928 MHz, 2400-2483.5 MHz and 5150-5350/5470-5850 MHz. This policy will apply to any future unlicensed spectrum which may from time to time be made available by the FCC. Should such bandwidth become available, the most restrictive policy will apply. Each section of Spectrum has different requirements and will be treated separately.

902 – 928 MHz

This band is typically used by consumer electronics such as cordless telephones.

  • Restrictions: No reporting is required. Users causing interference to any other frequency user are expected and required to amend their usage to eliminate the interference.

2400 – 2483.5 MHz

This band is currently used for a variety of technologies today, including Bluetooth, Cordless Telephones, and 802.11 (WiFi).

  • Bluetooth: There are no restrictions for Bluetooth users. Bluetooth use may cause interference with other devices in this spectrum and with each other. Users causing interference for any other user are expected and required to amend their usage to eliminate the interference. Failure to perform such remediation could result in removal of access by the University. Due to the limited security available with Bluetooth devices, users are responsible for ensuring the proper security for all of their devices.
  • Cordless Telephones: Cordless Telephones that operate in this spectrum may not be used.
  • 802.11 (WiFi): ITS is responsible for deployment of wireless/WiFi networking. No wireless access points may be installed by any department or individual other than ITS. Information about WiFi installations and procedures can be found here.

5150 – 5350/5470 – 5850 MHz

This band is reserved solely for data communications purposes. No devices operating within this spectrum may be installed on campus without the express written permission of the Chief Information Office of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. No wireless access points operating within this spectrum may be installed by any department or individual other than ITS.

Future ISM Bands

The use of any spectrum made available by the FCC in the future for unlicensed communications will not be permitted without express, written permission of the Chief Information Office of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Penalties and Review

Penalties for violating the Wireless Spectrum Management Policy may include restricted access or loss of access to the UNC-Chapel Hill Network, termination and/or expulsion from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in some cases, civil and/or criminal liability.

The Chief Information Office of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reserves the right to update or revise this policy or implement additional policies in the future. Users are responsible for staying informed about UNC-Chapel Hill policies regarding the use of information technology resources and complying with all applicable policies. ITS shall provide notice of any such modifications or amendments by email to the UNC-CH Support and CTC mailing lists. Any such modification shall be effective immediately upon notice being provided regardless of whether subscriber actually reads such notice.