802.11b 2MB Connection Policy

Responsible Office

Enterprise Infrastructure


Faculty, Staff, and Students


Effective August 1, 2013, ACU’s wireless network will no longer support the 802.11b standard, and specifically devices that require a minimum connection rate of 2Mb.

Overview of issue

The wireless 802.11b standard was initially released in 1999.  This wireless standard was released at the same time as 802.11a was released.  Since 1999, two additional  wireless standards have been released, 802.11g (2003) and  802.11n (2009).  Two additional proposed standards are working their way through the IEEE standards body, 802.11ac and 802.11ad.

The newer standards that operate on the 2.4GHz spectrum, 802.11g and 802.11n, are also backward compatible with the older 802.11b standard.  However, this backward compatibility creates problems for non-802.11b clients. To enable a 802.11g or 802.11n wireless network to support the 802.11b standard requires the wireless network to essentially default to the lowest common denominator, and greatly reduces the available bandwidth available to all wireless devices connected to the 2.4GHz on the wireless network.  

Since most mobile devices and laptops manufacturers are shipping devices with at least a 802.11g or 802.11n compliant wireless network interface card, and ACU continues to see an increase in the number of devices that operate on the 5GHz spectrum, ACU is discontinuing support for devices that only support the 802.11b standard.

Change Control

Revisions to this policy must be reviewed and approved by the CIO Cabinet.

Notification Tree

The following individuals or offices should be notified prior to implementing changes to this policy: CIO Cabinet.