eduroam Global Policy

Responsibility for the Global Policy

The organisation with overall responsibility for the operation of eduroam is GEANT.

GEANT has established a committee to perform global governance, the Global eduroam Governance Committee (GeGC).

GEANT has published a Charter for the GeGC which defines the GeGC role and composition. One of the responsibilities defined for the GeGC is to create the Global eduroam Policy.

eduroam Compliance Statement

The GeGC has created the “eduroam Compliance Statement” (eCS) which National Roaming Operators are required to sign up to in order to be recognised and operate as a country’s NRO. This document may be regarded as the eduroam Global Policy.

Overview of Global Policy

The eCS does the following:

  • establishes consistent terminology to facilitate global communication regarding eduroam
  • defines eligibility for use of the eduroam service (i.e. identifies the eduroam user community as users engaged in education and/or research)
  • defines responsibility of NROs (in particular, NROs being responsible for their member institutions)
  • defines responsibilities of participating institutions (Identity Providers are responsible for their users, and Service Providers are responsible for eduroam networks)
  • provides appendices defining high-level technical and administrative requirements for institutional participants (eduroam Service Providers and eduroam Identity Providers)
  • provides guidance to NROs regarding how they can achieve compliance (by creating a National eduroam Policy which institutions agree to comply with as part of the on-boarding process).

Policy Under-pins Trust

Compliance with technical and administrative policies is the basis of trust in an Identity Federation such as eduroam.

eduroam participating institutions constitute an ‘identity federation’, which means that

  • eduroam service providers trust eduroam identity providers to remotely authenticate their users correctly and ensure user accountability
  • eduroam identity providers trust eduroam service providers implement an eduroam network and deploy infrastructure to ensure user security

Another more general term that may be applied to eduroam is ‘trust federation’. The term ‘federation’ means that trust is established between participants on the basis of compliance with agreed policies.

The institutions participating in delivering and using the eduroam service constitute a global ‘trust federation’, hence a global policy has been created and is administered and maintained by the Global eduroam Governance Committee (GeGC). The global policy covers both technical and administrative aspects of the service applying to the National Roaming Operator (NRO) and to institutions. In order to join eduroam as a NRO, the NRO institution must sign the Global Policy. The NRO is responsible for ensuring its member institutions comply with the institutional requirements described in the eduroam Global Policy.

Other examples of global federations used in Research and Education are the International Grid Trust Federation (IGTF) for global access to Grid resources, and the global SAML Federation (eduGAIN) which enables global access to web-based services. The eduroam federation provides a solution to the requirement for global network roaming for users engaged in research and/or education.