Controlling Access with Vouchers

The wireless network created by the Open-Mesh OM2P access points was set to have an SSID of TeacherNet. The network was set up as a closed network, Cloudtrax management site has a facility to issue "vouchers" to allow for access after authenticating from an initial "splash page."

Each educator and staff member in the school was issues a high-bandwidth (4.5 Mbps) long-term (4568 day) voucher, and the school secretary was provided with short-term lower-bandwidth vouchers that can be provided to guests.

Teacher and staff vouchers were created through a custom bulk creation process we created for this purpose; teachers and staff were each provided with an instruction sheet containing their name and access code and access documentation.

There is no provision for student access to the wireless network at all at this stage.

The initial "splash page" has been configured as follows:

Bulk Generation of Vouchers

The portal has two mechanisms for generating vouchers.

The regular administrative interface, which allows for the bulk-generation of random vouchers.

The lobby assistant mode, which allows for manual generation of vouchers.

Because we had a list of 50 staff that we wanted to bulk-create non-random vouchers for, we developed an alternative method that uses a PHP script to programmatically create vouchers from the command line use the "lobby assistant" mechanism.

Procedure was as follows:

  1. Obtain the Prince Street School Staff List from the school website; verified with the Principal that the list is up to date.
  2. Paste the list into an ASCII text editor and format it as a tab-delimited ASCII file with two columns, name and classroom/role.
  3. Paste the resulting ASCII data into a Mac spreadsheet and add three additional columns: "access" (Yes or No, as to whether the given staff person needs wifi access), ""random number" (a random number from 100 to 999; entered as =RANDBETWEEN(100,999)) and "voucher code" (the computed voucher code; entered as =CONCATENATE(LOWER(MID(NAME,SEARCH(" ",NAME),99)),RANDOMNUMBER; this took the person's last name and added the random number to it).
  4. Exported the resulting spreadsheet to a CSV file, called users.csv, with the columns name, role, access, random number and voucher code.
  5. Use the PHP script -- available in Github with documentation -- to create vouchers for the users in the CSV file.

The Cloudtrax voucher list, post-bulk-generation, looked like this: