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Wireless access at UC

20 December 2023

Students, visitors, and staff can get access to the internet and UC network via the UC wi-fi. Find out about wireless access at UC and how to access it.

Available WiFi networks on campus

There are three available WiFi options to connect your device on campus.


The default network for undergraduate students. Staff and postgraduate students may also connect to this network but won't be able to roam to other educational institutes that the eduroam wireless network offers. Find out more


The preferred network for postgraduate students and staff. It also allows postgraduate students and staff to use the eduroam wireless networks at other participating educational institutions. See the eduroam section for more information on eduroam configuration and policies.


This network is for short term wireless access for visitors to University of Canterbury. It is also an open, unencrypted, limited service network. Find out more.


To use the UC wireless networks you must be in range of a wireless access point. All UC campus buildings have extensive coverage including many outside communal areas.

The following remote sites also have wireless coverage:

  • Cass Field Station
  • Mt John Observatory
  • Manawa (UCwireless only)
  • Reading Recovery Centre
  • UC Nelson Centre
  • Westport Field Station
Performance considerations

WiFi does not provide as much reliability and performance as a wired connection (Ethernet) and it is difficult to deliver WiFi to a large number of clients. You can expect a good experience for low-to-medium bandwidth applications in areas where there are fewer users.

Wireless networks are shared networks. This means that the more wireless users in an area, the slower the network will perform for all users. Due to technical limits, ITS cannot guarantee reliable WiFi service for devices in areas such as large, crowded lecture theatres, or open areas such as the lower levels of the central library.

Wireless performance tips and recommendations

Here are a few tips for maximising your wireless experience

Turn off wireless connections when not in use

When on campus, we suggest turning off the wireless function in your device when you don't need it. This will extend the battery life on your device and you won't accidentally use your internet quota. You need a positive IT account balance to access the internet on campus.

Use a wired connection to transfer large amounts of data

If you want to transfer more than 1GB of data, consider using a wired internet connection (Ethernet) rather than wireless.

Limit the use of Bluetooth    

Devices using Bluetooth share the same frequencies as 2.4GHz WiFi so excessive Bluetooth usage can affect WiFi performance.

Using your mobile device for tethering or as a mobile hotspot is discouraged

Do not configure or activate any personal hotspots or ad-hoc wireless networks on your wireless devices as this will share the same frequencies as the university WiFi and will reduce the performance of the WiFi networks in the area.

Is your wireless driver software up to date?

Check you are running the most up to date wireless driver for your wireless device. This may improve performance and reliability. If you would like help with this, visit the IT Service Desk and we'll try to assist.

Wireless Safety Policy
Safety of WiFi signals

WiFi frequency bands are frequency ranges within the wireless spectrum that are designated to carry WiFi: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

Exposures to WiFi signals in New Zealand schools, both from the access points and devices, are very low. On this basis WiFi in schools does not pose a health risk to children or staff. 

Further information can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

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