The principle of govroam is simple: government employees use their own user name and password to surf securely on the wireless network, both in their own government department and on the networks of all other participating organisations. This is made possible by access security checks for joint wireless networks.
The govroam service is provided by Belnet in Belgium and by the stichting govroam in the Netherlands. Thanks to the agreement signed by both countries, Belgian government employees can now also surf on the Wi-Fi networks in participating governments in the Netherlands, and vice versa.
“Govroam gives government employees more mobility and allows them to work together more efficiently, even across the border”, explains Jan Torreele, director of Belnet.
“Govroam makes our government more efficient, as employees can now also work together more easily in Belgium and they can do their job more securely”, states Frank van Iersel, Chairman of the stichting govroam.
Belnet and the stichting govroam see their agreement to work together as the first step towards an international roll-out of govroam. Both countries are working together to increase the standardisation of govroam, creating an international standard. A number of different countries have already expressed an interest.
Govroam is based on ‘eduroam’, a similar project within the research and education sectors. With government departments now working together increasingly, govroam is ideal to facilitate the use of wireless networks. Moreover, every organisation decides for themselves who is to be allowed access to the network, and to what level.
Belnet is the federal government agency that is responsible since 1993 for the Belgian national research network. It provides internet access to very high bandwidth and internet services to Belgian universities, colleges, research centres and government agencies. Belnet has over 60 employees and is part of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office. It provides its services exclusively to some 200 institutions representing more than 700,000 end users. Thanks to its acquired expertise, its unique market position and scale advantages, Belnet will help accelerate the growth of the knowledge and information society in Belgium. Belnet is also responsible for BNIX, the Belgian internet exchange, and CERT.be, the federal cyber emergency team. More information is available on www.belnet.be
About stichting govroam:
The government roaming foundation in the Netherlands (stichting govroam) promotes, supervises and supports the use of govroam within the public sector in the Netherlands as a secure, trustworthy and widely accepted way of accessing the wireless internet. Stichting govroam was founded in 2014, as a joint initiative with SURFnet, the Dutch network for research and higher education. Currently, govroam is already available to over 50,000 government employees, in both local and central government organisations. From the start, stichting govroam can apply knowledge and experience gained by SURFnet in their development and supply of eduroam® to the educational sector. More information is available on www.govroam.nl