Free Internet access via a WiFi connection is now available to attorneys, other legal staff and the media within all offices of the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. All courtrooms have been outfitted with wireless access points. Those who wish to use this service should bring their own mobile devices with a built-in wireless network card or with an external wireless adapter that is 802.11 compatible. The wireless network supports all bands of 802.11, including the latest version 802.11AC.
Please be advised that technical support for accessing the wireless networks will not be provided under any circumstances. Users of the wireless network should read the disclaimer and the FAQ on this page prior to accessing the network.
The following information details connection requirements:
- Your device must support a wireless connection. All version of 802.11, a,b,g,ac are supported.
- Set your network card to use a dynamic IP Address (DHCP).
- Set the SSID (wireless network identifier): USDC_Free_Wifi (no password required)
- Users should be aware that there are security, privacy, and confidentiality risks inherent in wireless communications; and the United States District Court does not make any assurances or warranties relating to such risks.
- Prior to a successful connection you must read and accept the Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitation of Liability statement before gaining access to the wireless network.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where will wireless Internet access be available?
Wireless internet access is available inside all Pennsylvania Western District Federal courtrooms*. The service is provided free of charge.
*Please note that Wireless Access is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis. The United States District Court does not warrant that this service will be uninterrupted.
What if I have problems connecting to this service?
For liability reasons government personnel are strictly prohibited from handling or troubleshooting non-government computers or mobile devices. The US District Court Information Technology department will only verify the current operational state of the wireless internet connection.
Why is wireless Internet access being made available?
We have provided internet access as a courtesy so that legal counsel can benefit from on-site access to the internet. In an effort to stay abreast with technology we have provided this service as an additional benefit to our current technology build out in the courtrooms.
What can I do with wireless Internet access?
There are restrictions and limits on the wireless network. Feel free to browse the Internet and communicate with your colleagues. Internet activity such as downloading music, watching TV or any other activity that consumes a large amount of bandwidth is prohibited. Please remember to consider the security implications of using the wireless network and protect your computer appropriately. The US District Court provides NO security protection while using the open internet at our location.
Who runs the wireless network?
The wireless network is owned and operated by the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
What computer hardware is required?
Any device that supports 802.11 a,b,g,ac wireless networking.
What settings are needed to use this system?
The SSID (wireless network identifier) of the wireless network is USDC_Free_Wifi. You will not need to enable (wireless encryption) nor will a password be required. You may need to set your network card to use a dynamic IP Address (DHCP).
What operating systems can use it?
Any computer with a wireless network card that supports 802.11 wifi can be configured to use the wireless network. This includes all versions of Microsoft Windows & Macintosh. However it is up to the user to make any necessary configuration changes to their personal computer. Technical support will not be provided.
Is the wireless network secure?
No. Due to the unrestricted nature of this service, the wireless network should not be considered secure. Anyone using the wireless network should take the necessary precautions to ensure that their devices are protected from network snoops and hackers.
Users should be aware that there are security, privacy, and confidentiality risks inherent in wireless communications.
Some precautionary measures recommended include:
- Installing the latest software patches for your device
- Using updated anti-virus software
- Using a personal firewall
- Using VPN software to securely communicate sensitive information
Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitation of Liability
For Wireless Internet Access Provided at the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania:
The Wireless Internet Access provided by United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania is for use free of charge. Wireless Access is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis. The United States District Court does not warrant that this service will be uninterrupted, or free of viruses or other harmful components. Users should be aware that there are security, privacy, and confidentiality risks inherent in wireless communications and technology and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania does not make any assurances or warranties relating to such risks.
By using Wireless Internet access users agree that the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania is not liable for any costs or damages arising from use of this service and United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania does not control any materials, information, products or services on the internet.
No technical support of any kind under any circumstances will be provided to any user trying to access the wireless network. Internet access areas are provided only as a courtesy and may or may not be available at any requested time. We also reserve the right to deny or restrict access to any user who abuses the network, such as excessive bandwidth consumption or using the network for any type of criminal activity.
1. Your use of any information or materials on sites you access is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable.
2. You agree that, though this portal, you will NOT perform any of the following acts:
- Attempt to access devices or resources to which you have no explicit rights
- Copy, reproduce, or transmit any copyrighted files or information
- Engaged in internet activity with malicious intent
- Transmit malicious software such as viruses, Trojan horses, and worms
- Install software or make configuration changes to any device or application
3. You agree that you will use the access provided here responsibly and with full regard to the safety, security, and privacy of all other users, devices and resources.
4. You agree that you will be mindful of the cultural sensitivities of others while using this portal so as not to provoke reaction or offense, and that you will not intentionally access pornographic, graphically violent, hateful, or other offensive material (as deemed by us) regardless of others' sensitivities.
5. You understand that we reserve the right to log or monitor traffic to ensure that these terms are being followed.
6. You understand that unauthorized use of resources through this portal may give rise to a claim for damages and/or be a criminal offense.