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 University of Essex
Campus Data Network Infrastructure Support Policy

This policy concerns the installation, maintenance and support of the physical data network infrastructure on the campus, including wires/cables, wall outlets, hubs, bridges, routers and switches.

"Ownership" of the data network infrastructure.

The Computing Service is responsible for the campus network, including all departmental networks attached to the campus network. The Computing Service installs, upgrades and maintains the network, or contracts to inside or outside suppliers for such work.

The Computing Service will exercise its best endeavours to diagnose and fix network faults as soon as possible after they occur. However resources are limited, and the Service may need to prioritise fault repair work according to the severity of the faults.

The Computing Service may by agreement cede to a department responsibility for installing, upgrading and maintaining any departmental network or part of a network connected to the campus network. The department is expected to consult the Computing Service over their network developments, and to keep the Service fully informed. However in these cases the Computing Service cannot undertake to provide any support for maintenance or fault finding.

The Director of Information Systems has the right to disconnect all or part of a departmentís network from the main campus network if problems on the departmental network are adversely affecting the functioning of the main campus network. In the event of such an incident occurring, the Director of Information Systems will report on the incident to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Resources) at the earliest opportunity.

Financial responsibility for network installation and upgrades.

Basic network provision throughout the University is provided from the central information systems budget.

Basic provision means:

1. an adequate network backbone, routers and switches

2. off campus connectivity

3. adequate network management and monitoring

4. Ethernet connectivity to one or more outlets in each office and teaching room, and in some other areas; the number of outlets being dependent on room size and function.

The target standard for (4) is switched 10baseT to RJ45 outlets. All wiring is installed to Category 5E standard, capable of carrying 100 Mbit/s to the outlets.

The installation of more outlets than are covered by the basic provision will be charged at cost to departments, including any contracted-out labour costs.

When a section of the network is being upgraded, departments may choose to install more outlets or to raise the specification. There is a charge equal to the extra cost incurred above the cost of the basic upgrade.

Subject to availability of Computing Service resources, a department may choose to have part of their network upgraded outside the normal schedule. In such cases the upgrade is charged to the department at cost.


Approved by Senate 17 June 1998
Amended 10 March 1999
Amended 7 October 2004


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