User guides


Internet Access Policy

Date approved:

1 July 2004

Date Guidelines will take effect:

1 July 2004

Date of Next Review:

January 2015

Approved by:

Director, Information Technology

Custodian title & e-mail address:

Senior Manager, Business Services Unit


Michele Grange

Responsible Faculty/

Division & Unit:

Information Technology Services Division, Business Services Unit

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of these guidelines:

Yahoo Search Engine – Australian Mirror Site
Yahoo Search Engine

Software Downloads Information

Mirapoint Webmail

References & Legislation:

Internet Access Policy
IT Acceptable Use Policy (including the Requirements Governing the Use of IT Facilities)

IT User Account Management Policy

Music, Video and Software Piracy Policy

Student Conduct Rules
Crimes Act, 1914 (Commonwealth)


Public – accessible to anyone

Expiry Date of Guidelines:

Not applicable.


1 Introduction / Background

Not Available.

2 Scope / Purpose

  • 1. These guidelines provide information to users on the efficient use of the Internet and how to best manage any available quota. The policy for the provision of Internet services to the University community is accessible on the University Policy Directory. The University of Wollongong is committed to the appropriate use of Information Technology and Services in support of its teaching, research, administrative and service functions. The University’s IT Acceptable Use Policy defines the acceptable behaviour expected of users and intending users of the facilities, including the Internet. The University requires users to accept the IT policies and associated Requirements Governing the Use of IT Facilities as a condition of their use. These are accessible on the University Policy Directory.

3 Definitions

  • 1. Definitions in these guidelines are the same as those used in the Internet Access Policy.

4 Internet Access Policy

  • 1. Under the University of Wollongong Internet Access Policy:
    • 1.1. No quota is imposed for staff and postgraduate research student accounts (uncapped accounts). Restrictions may be imposed by the relevant Senior Executive, Dean, Director or University Librarian, where usage is deemed to have been inappropriate.
    • 1.2. An Internet usage quota applies to all other current student accounts (capped accounts) which are granted a six monthly allocation of quota at the beginning of each year and midyear.
    • 1.3. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) reviews the application of quotas on an ongoing basis.
    • 1.4. Free access to the Library-subscribed electronic databases and full-text datasets is available for users of the University IT facilities, when accessed via the EZproxy.
    • 1.5. Users can monitor their own quota using the internet at:
    • 1.6. Notification when 25% and 50% of the quota is exhausted will be sent automatically to the user.
    • 1.7. A warning will be generated in the form of an electronic mail message to the student if they have used 75% of the quota. It will advise the user to seek permission for an increase of quota from an appropriate authority, which in this case, is the Dean or the assigned delegate of the Faculty in which the student is enrolled.
    • 1.8. Once a student has exhausted their quota they can no longer access any external sites.
    • 1.9. If a student has exhausted their quota, and wishes to have it raised for educational purposes, the student can apply to their faculty for additional quota at Whilst internet quota is provided to students primarily for educational purposes, the University accepts that students will use the internet for personal purposes. Any such usage needs to be managed in line with the acceptable behaviour expected of users of IT facilities as defined in the IT Acceptable Use Policy. A student’s past download history will be considered when assessing an application.
    • 1.10. Should the Dean of the Faculty, or their nominated representative, deny the student’s request for an increase in quota, the student can appeal to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) who will have the final say in this matter.
    • 1.11. There is no further option for obtaining an increased quota (i.e. the possibility for the student to pay in order to have their quota increased) if a request for an increased quota has been denied through the proper channels.

5 User Account Management

  • 1. The University encourages the use of the Internet, including email and web services, to facilitate communication among internal users and with the external community; allowing users to better perform the duties assigned to them; and to allow greater efficiency in teaching, research, administrative and service functions.
  • 2. To utilise the internet it is necessary to have a user account which is identified by a username. A username is issued to an individual for the duration of that individual’s affiliation with the University. More detailed information on user accounts including application, entitlements, closure and deletion of user accounts is available in the IT User Account Management Policy.

6 Internet Quota System

Internet Access Policy

  • 1. Under current internet access policy an Internet usage quota applies to capped user accounts i.e. undergraduate and postgraduate coursework student accounts. The quota is granted as a six monthly allocation of quota at the beginning of each year and midyear and is currently set at 3GB of off-net traffic with unlimited on-net traffic. The off-net traffic quota represents the limit the University has set for the incoming off-net traffic or downloaded off-net traffic, but not outgoing traffic, when using a University of Wollongong user account. An explanation of on-net versus off-net traffic is provided below under “What is on-net and off-net traffic?”
  • 2. There is no quota imposed for uncapped user accounts i.e. staff and postgraduate research student accounts, however internet usage is tracked against these accounts and restrictions may be imposed where usage is deemed to have been inappropriate.
  • 3. When accessing the Internet under a University user account all incoming IP traffic is attributed to an account. This applies whether on a University owned computer on campus or at a University residence, or via a dial-up. It does not apply when using the internet at home or off campus via an alternate ISP in which case usage is governed by the conditions agreed to by you and your internet service provider.
  • 4. When using a web browser and accessing an external site, a user is prompted by the web proxy server to authenticate themselves using their user account, i.e. username and password. Having authenticated themselves all internet traffic will then be attributed against the username. Note: If accessing the internet using other protocols such as ssh i.e. not http, https, a user is required to authenticate via a border authentication session. All incoming IP traffic is then attributed to the user via the session.

Categories of IP Traffic

  • 5. IP traffic incurred against the user account falls into 1 of 5 categories:
    • 5.1. The requested web page is contained within the University of Wollongong web site. In this case the traffic is free.
    • 5.2. The requested web page is contained on the web proxy server. In this case the IP traffic is free. For further details on the University web proxy refer to the section titled Web Proxy below.
    • 5.3. The requested web page is an electronic database subscribed to by the University Library being accessed via the library EZProxy. In this case the traffic is free.
    • 5.4. The requested web page is on AARNET i.e. On-net. On-net traffic is free.
    • 5.5. The requested web page is off-net and in this case the traffic is incurred at the current off-net rate.

What is AARNet?

  • 6. AARNet the Australia's Research and Education Network is the University of Wollongong’s Internet provider which provides a high-capacity, Internet service to the education and research communities and their research partners.

What is On-net & Off-net traffic?

  • 7. On-net traffic is data that flows between AARNet members, associates and affiliates across the AARNet backbone, or with equivalent organisations that are connected to overseas Research and Education Networks with an Internet2 connection (which includes most universities and research organizations of interest worldwide). Any data drawn from the AARNet mirror is also On-net.
  • 8. All IP traffic not classified as on-net is off-net.
  • 9. For more details access the AARNet provided network address query at

Web Page Sizes

  • 10. Web page size is particularly impacted when a page includes graphics, music, video, etc, and given that websites change continually, it is impossible to provide exact counts on the download size of particular web pages. However, the following information may be of interest to students who are trying to economise on their quota usage.
  • 11. Standard Facebook and other social media web pages typically contain graphics, photos, music, videos, etc. Opening these pages will significantly increase the amount of quota you use.
  • 12. From the above, it is obvious that spending even a short time on Facebook or other social media sites will very quickly use up all of your University internet quota, It should also be noted that some “news” sites (including newspapers) often download audio and video files automatically.

User Web Access History

The Web Proxy System

  • 15. When a user accesses a web page or files, the web proxy server retrieves them and also makes a temporary copy which is available locally “with special access mechanism” on the web proxy server. These files and web pages are not directly accessible by users. However, if a subsequent user wishes to download the same web page, the web proxy server first searches the local web proxy server to determine if a copy of the web page is already available. If it is available on the web proxy server, then this is the copy served to the user. In other words, the downloading of this web page is all conducted locally and the download speed will be very rapid. On the other hand, if the web proxy server does not find a copy of the web page locally, then it will download from the requested site.
  • 16. The length of time that the downloaded files or web pages are available from the web proxy server is variable. It depends on the frequency of access of users. If a web page is in high demand, the web page will then stay on the web proxy server longer. At present approximately one in every three requests for web pages or files are available from the web proxy server, and hence can be downloaded locally.

Managing Internet Usage

  • 17. The following hints are provided to assist users in managing their internet usage:
    • 17.1. Use the Internet only in relation to your course of study or work at the University.
    • 17.2. Do not access private email accounts such as Gmail or Hotmail via University computers. The University provides you with an email account for University related work available at
    • 17.3. Do not download video and audio files except when absolutely necessary, or files with significant graphical content. Unauthorised copying or communication of copyright protected material, including music, videos and software violates the law and is contrary to the University's standards of conduct and business practices.
    • 17.4. Some web pages constantly refresh themselves fully or partially after a given time period. Advertising banners frequently behave this way, for example most newspaper web pages. Avoid leaving these on your screen for any longer than is necessary.
    • 17.5. When sending an email to a person at the University of Wollongong, and the email contains a reference to an external web page, always copy and paste the URL into the mail message. This gives the recipient the option of accessing the external site or not. Protect your password to prevent other users from using your quota. When you receive your computer account you should change your password as soon as possible. The University imposes password criterion to help protect your online privacy which includes enforcing you to periodically change your password. You can protect your self by never telling your password to anyone and not writing your password down.
    • 17.6. If you wish to use social networking sites you will need to purchase a plan for personal internet use through an external provider. The University has internet cafes the main Wollongong campus, Keiraview and Campus East. For information on providers at residences and locations and costs for internet cafes, please visit
  • 18. The most common forms of excess usage of quotas are:
      • Active use of social media sites where students access photos, videos, music etc.
      • Downloading music and video files
      • Reading online newspapers. Contact the University Library regarding online access to newspapers via library services.
      • Listening to /streaming online radio;
      • Online gaming;
      • File sharing programs – peer-to-peer;
      • Streaming media
      • Auto-update function of web pages, e.g. Facebook
      • Auto-refresh pages, such as news headlines.

7 Roles & Responsibilities

Not Available.

8 Version Control Table

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By



1 July 2004

Chris Edmondson

First Version – guideline components extracted from Internet Access Policy.


1 October 2005

Michele Grange

Reworked to combine student and staff guidelines


1 July 2006

Michele Grange

Changed inline with conversion of student quotas to offnet


20 December 2007

Susan Gardner

Michele Grange

Updated info on Web Page Sizes, Hints on managing usage, Excess usage


6 May 2009

Vice Principal (Administration)

Migrated to UOW Procedure Template as per Policy Directory Refresh


9 March 2010

Senior Manager, Business Services Unit

Future review date identified in accordance with Standard on UOW Policy.


8 January 2014

Senior Manager, Business Services Unit

Future review date identified in accordance with Standard on UOW Policy.