The Public Network is a collection of Ethernet ports and wireless access points installed in public areas across campus. The Public Network allows members of The University of Texas at Austin community and sponsored guests to connect to UTnet (the campus network) in many buildings and common areas on campus using network-capable laptops and portable devices. UTnet provides access to university computing resources, as well as to the external Internet. Use of the Public Network is subject to external data limits to conserve computing resources and ensure fair access for all users.

Information Technology Services (ITS), in cooperation with many departments on campus, installs and operates the Ethernet ports and wireless access points that comprise the Public Network.

Public Network Authentication

The Public Network Authentication System limits access to the Public Network at the university to members of the university community and sponsored guests to ensure that university computing resources are used responsibly . Anyone who connects to a publicly accessible Ethernet port or wireless access point at the university must authenticate with a UT EID or Guest ID before accessing the Internet.

When you connect to a publicly accessible Ethernet port or wireless access point at the university and try to connect to the Internet with a Web browser, the Public Network Authentication login page opens. The system redirects you to this page so that you can authenticate with a UT EID or Guest ID. After you authenticate, you are directed back to the Web page that you originally tried to view. You may have experienced similar behavior when accessing the Internet using other public networks, such as high-speed data ports or wireless networks in airports. When you authenticate, the Public Network Authentication System records certain information. Please see the Privacy statement to see what information is gathered.

You cannot use other Internet services, such as e-mail or instant messaging, until you open a Web browser and authenticate. Make sure your Web browser is configured to work with the Public Network Authentication System .

Who Can Use the Public Network

Students, faculty, staff, and official visitors of the university may access the Public Network by authenticating with their UT EID .

Sponsored guests (conference attendees, etc.) may use the Public Network, provided their host or sponsor supplies them with a guest account (Guest ID and password) with which to authenticate. Please see Obtaining a Guest ID for more information.