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This is an extended discussion regarding connecting partner organisations.

Connecting partner organisations

 “Any Eligible Organisation may grant access to the Janet IP Service to another organisation (a Partner Organisation) appropriate to its missions. A Partner Organisation may not have access to other Janet services.” Janet Eligibility Policy.


The University of Cambridge, as an eligible organisation, is permitted under Janet policy to connect partner organisations to Janet via its own Janet connection. To access Janet, the partner organisation should be directly contributing towards the University's mission. If it is simply using University facilities, but not contributing to the mission, it should not use Janet.

The University's mission is stated as:

"The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence."


The associated core values of the University can be found here:

A partner organisation can be a commercial company, in which case the University must not break State Aid rules – that is, the University must not provide a commercial advantage to the partner organisation by inadvertently providing a discount ISP service that is significantly cheaper than the commercial market place. In the event that UIS believes that a connected partner organisation is in breach of policy, and a resolution cannot be agreed, it will refer the matter to the ISC.

There are two main types of partner organisation at the University:


Embedded in a University institution

This is the most common scenario at the University and it can take different forms. The common factor is that the partner organisation is embedded within the host institution and shares the host’s CUDN connection. The decision to connect an embedded partner organisation is taken by the host University institution, not UIS. Furthermore, it is not necessary for University institutions to notify UIS that they are connecting an embedded partner organisation. The host is entirely responsible for the partner organisation's use of IT services, including all acceptable use policies, as if they were the hosts' own staff or students.

If the partner organisation is a commercial operation, it is the responsibility of the host institution to ensure State Aid rules are not broken.

“State Aid is the use of public funds, either directly or indirectly, in a way that distorts competition between organisations participating in commercial or “economic” markets (known as “economic undertakings”).”  State Aid – Questions and Answers

UIS is not the correct University organisation to provide legal advice on State Aid. Therefore, UIS will not choose to apply commercial ISP rates for the host institution's CUDN connection where they have an embedded commercial partner organisation. Instead, the host institution is responsible for deciding what service charges they apply to the embedded partner organisation – making sure they address State Aid issues in the process. Note that these service charges could include all manner of services, such as general IT facilities, heating or laboratory facilities.

If the embedded partner organisation is not directly involved in furthering the University’s mission, then it should not use Janet and should instead use a commercial ISP service.


Independently connected partner organisation

A partner organisation, independent of other University institutions, does not share its connection to the CUDN with another host University institution. An appropriate University authority – not UIS – will determine whether it is appropriate to connect a partner organisation to the CUDN in this way. UIS must seek instruction from the University before connecting the partner organisation to the CUDN – the partner organisation cannot authorise itself. In addition, UIS should seek clarification from the University authority on whether the partner organisation is a commercial organisation and whether it should apply the commercial POP charge to prevent the Janet service from providing a commercial advantage. Note that the University may already charge an overhead to the partner organisation that covers State Aid.

UIS treats the partner organisation's use of the network like that of any other University institution. The partner organisation is responsible for complying with all acceptable use policies and ensuring it has the necessary technical and administrative resources to do so.


Technical requirements and recommendations for connecting partner organisations

When connecting an embedded partner organisation into an existing college or departmental LAN, the following technical configuration is required:

  • The embedded partner organisation must be placed on a separate VLAN and subnet (new subnets are available from UIS). This enables identification and incident response capabilities.

Furthermore, UIS recommends that the host institution applies the following:

  • Restrict network traffic between the embedded partner organisation and other local IT resources, only allowing access to what is necessary.
  • Use host names that enable easy identification.


Commercial ISP services

There are cases where Janet access cannot be granted and the alternative is to use a commercial ISP service. Additionally, an institution may opt to use a commercial ISP service because it is more convenient or preferable to do so. This can be provided in several ways.

Commercial ISP service backhauled over Janet

Jisc permits eligible organisations to backhaul data across Janet to a commercial ISP:

 “. . . in partnership with a public Internet Access Provider such as a commercial ISP. Traffic to that provider may be backhauled over Janet provided that users are authenticated, the traffic is carried in an encrypted tunnel, and the provider attaches its own IP addresses before routing the traffic to the Internet.”  Janet’s Guest and Public Network Access.

This can be used to provide ISP connectivity for organisations/people that are not normally permitted by Janet’s AUP, such as University visitors, or to provide ISP services to organisations not directly furthering the University’s mission. UIS has a service that performs this function, provided by the commercial ISP 'Mythic Beasts', which is available on request.

Commercial ISP connection direct to the University institution

Any University institution may have a commercial ISP service in addition to the CUDN\Janet connection. Such a service is managed entirely within the institution.