When COVID-19 lockdowns started in early 2020 it was inevitable that usage of eduroam (education roaming - the secure, worldwide roaming wi-fi network developed for the international research and education community) would decline as travelling became nearly impossible for many people and heavily restricted for almost everyone on the planet.
At that time, 10-hour days of video conferencing became the norm and video conferencing services like Zoom quickly moved from being services used by a few to the way virtually everyone worked and communicated.
Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions, eduroam still provided an essential service for many students during the pandemic.
In Australia, eduroam was extended to several public library branches in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, so that Deakin University students living in the area could continue to access the internet and university services when campuses closed.
Elsewhere in the world, universities like the University of Delaware opened up eduroam access in college carparks to allow students without home Wi-Fi to keep accessing student services and applications even when the doors to the college were closed.
Now, as we are emerging into the post-COVID world, eduroam is once again proving its value with almost 6,400,000,000 (that’s right 6.4 billion) national and international authentications registered in 2022 globally – that’s a 70% increase on 2021 figures.
With Australia’s international borders opening and classes returning to campuses in 2022, eduroam authentications within Australia alone soared to 2.5 million, up 185% on 2021 figures.