VUIT to retire vummiv WiFi network Dec. 3


Emily Gonçalves

Aerial shot of Kirkland hall with trees. (Hustler Multimedia/Emily Gonçalves)

Nathaniel Day, Staff Writer

Following multiple scheduled outages in October and November, Vanderbilt’s vummiv WiFi network will be officially retired on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 6 a.m. After this date, all devices connected to the vummiv network will no longer receive internet service and must connect to another Vanderbilt network.

Upgrades in WiFi on campus make vummiv unnecessary, said Vice Chancellor for Information Technology John Lutz. Vummiv was an informal network that was lacking in quality and security. VUIT’s new four-network system provides protected networks designed for explicit purposes. 

In addition to improved versions of the vuNet and vuGuest networks, two new networks, vuDevices and eduroam, are also available on campus. vuDevices provides wireless service specifically for devices like gaming consoles and smart TVs, while eduroam allows VU students and faculty to automatically connect to WiFi at other institutions that utilize the network. 

“We think we just have a much more comprehensive and nuanced program with all these networks,” Lutz said. “There is no need that vummiv serves now that isn’t in one of those buckets, so we can retire it.”

The new vuGuest network is especially important in VUIT’s efforts to upgrade campus WiFi services. Unlike vummiv, vuGuest requires users to provide some basic information prior to joining the network, similar to hotel and business networks. 

The vummiv WiFi network was established in 2004 and has since been used by Vanderbilt faculty and students. While the network is hidden, it may be joined by anyone who searches for it. Because of the network’s open status, vummiv has also been utilized by the surrounding Nashville community.

“It has never been broadcast, but it’s also been an open secret,” Lutz said. “My comment has always been all the taxi drivers on West End and 21st also know how to find vummiv.”

VUIT has utilized a rolling blackout approach paired with active communication to slowly migrate people off the vummiv network. 

“We’re gradually retiring it, and we’re trying to do that in a way that is not disruptive,”  Vice Chancellor for Information Technology John Lutz said. “The number of folks who were logging into it some months ago has already been reduced.”

Lutz encouraged students to call the VUIT help desk if they experience any problems related to the retirement of vummiv. He also stated that students should report any general problems they experience with WiFi on campus, such as dead spots. 

“When you show up in your room, wireless should work, but we also can’t fix things we don’t know about,” Lutz said.