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Virtual Campus Graz

Virtual Campus Graz (VCG)


VCG was established in 1996 in cooperation with the State of Styria and Telekom Austria with the support of the Federal Ministry by the ZID of the Graz University of Technology on the initiative of Dr. J. Theurl (Graz University of Technology) as "BIGnet" (Bildungsnetz Graz) in order to connect the Graz student dormitories with the Graz universities and thus to relieve the learning and training centers of the universities. However, after the first cables have been set up, the State of Styria drops out as a sponsor, but the responsible ministry continues to pay the ACOnet fees.

From 1999 onwards, parallel to VCG, there is the project "StudentConnect Graz", with which the TU Graz together with TeleWeb (then chello/UPC) offers broadband Internet for students who do not live in dormitories, via the Internet uplink of TU Graz.
There were then similar projects with Telekom Austria ("uniADSL") and with inode ("xdsl@student").

As of 2001, the other universities in Graz also contribute to the costs (line rental, administrative expenses, support) of VCG.
In 2006 Telekom Austria announces that the ATM technology used on the obsolete optical fibers is no longer supported and the dorm network has to be rebuilt. Therefore the ZID of TU Graz is looking for new providers on behalf of the dorms for the connections from the dorms to the ACOnet-PoP at TU Graz ("last mile") for the time from mid 2008.
At the end of 2007, the dorms that want to remain in VCG under these conditions will then sign contracts with providers themselves. Some of the smallest dorms leave VCG, but the dorm of the FH Joanneum in Eggenberg (Greenbox) joins VCG, the number of residents with a VCG account exceeds 4,000 for the first time and the FH Joanneum also participates proportionally in the costs for hardware and operation.
The local dial-up (line) costs of EUR 150-400 per month (depending on the bandwidth) will be borne by the participating dorms from 2008 (as has always been the case in all other Austrian university towns).

The cost key, which is based on the allocable residents (i.e. excluding pupils and apprentices, etc.), has remained fairly constant over the years: 45% of the costs are borne by University of Graz, 37% (incl. inkind benefits) by TU Graz, 8% by FH Joanneum, 7% by MUG and 3% by KUG.

As of 2013, FH CAMPUS02 also supports Virtual Campus Graz.
In spring 2015, it is decided by the operators that the funding will be discontinued, but the dorm administrations agree to now bear the costs themselves, i.e. VCG will continue to be operated as before, only the funding will be purely by the dorms from fall 2016 (except for the ACOnet fees).

The hardware purchases required in 2016 (e.g. WLAN controller) and part of the reprogramming of the user administration will still be borne by the previous operators from the residual budget.


As mentioned, VCG was initially funded by the State of Styria, then later (until today) by the Ministry, and from August 2008 to July 2011 the project was also supported within the austrian electronic network (AT:net).

Purpose and Current Funding

The services of VCG are provided to the participating student residences or their residents (primarily students, but occasionally also pupils and apprentices) primarily for teaching and research purposes, whereby there is no entitlement to access VCG.

The technical operator of VCG is ZID of Graz University of Technology, the hardware and personnel costs of VCG are paid by the participating dorms, the key is the number of dorm residents: per dorm resident EUR 10.00 per year is to be paid. The Internet connection (within the framework of ACOnet) continues to be financed by the Federal Ministry (2 Mbps per 100 dorm residents, with 1 Mbps costing EUR 1,200/year), the "last mile" continues to be financed by the dorms.

Participation in VCG

The VCG provides a backbone service to connect student dormitories to ACOnet and provides user management for the residents in the participating dorms. Each student dormitory participating in VCG is responsible for the operation of the local network (LAN and WLAN), for the connection to the ACOnet-PoP in Steyrergasse 30 and for its own users (especially in the area of user regulations) and names contact persons for the technical operation ("dormitory administrators").

Access to VCG, ACOnet and Internet

The use of most services requires an account in the central VCG database, which is created and maintained by the dorm administrator. Disclosure of this personal account data (username, password) is not permitted and may result in a lengthy suspension or revocation of the account.
After logging in, an IP address from the range * is dynamically assigned to the user via DHCP (the assignment of this IP address to the account is stored for 6 weeks and then deleted). With this IP address, the user is also a participant in ACOnet, and is thus subject to VCG's Acceptable Use Policy (see below) as well as the ACOnet's Acceptable Use Policy.
Internet services are generally also offered via ACOnet (for this, however, a participation agreement with ACOnet is necessary for each dorm - see "VCampus Agreement" on the ACOnet homepage, furthermore, the "NightLine Additional Agreement" must be signed for participation in VCG, this can also be found on the ACOnet homepage). The extent and type of internet access is up to the operator of VCG.

Necessary Forms for the Dorm Providers

and then the

Acceptable Use Policy

There is a binding Acceptable Use Policy for VCG, which is implemented by the dorm administrators and the operator. VCG participation in ACOnet means that the ACOnet-AUP also applies.

Who is the Contact for Residents?

The primary point of contact is the residence hall (dorm) administrator.
Each participating student dorm entrusts suitable persons (e.g. from the residents' area) with the function of a technical contact point, who, among other things, operate the administration of the user accounts in the central database of VCG and support the residents in case of problems (first level support). There are no Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between the participating student residences and the operator and there are no guaranteed response times for any problems that may arise.