Frequently Asked Questions

UNH-IOL FAQ

Here are some of the UNH-IOL's most frequently asked questions. Please contact us if you would like additional information.

General

Technologies and Testing

Membership and Financial

General

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What is the UNH-IOL?
The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) tests networking and data communications products. The university established the laboratory in 1988 with the dual mission of providing a neutral environment to foster multi-vendor interoperability and conformance to data communications networking standards while educating students for future employment in the industry. The laboratory has since grown into one of the industry's premier independent proving grounds for new technologies.
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What is a Consortium?
A consortium is a group of companies who come together to test and mutually solve interoperability problems in a specific technology. By working together to provide equipment and to fund development of test methodologies, equipment manufacturers demonstrate their commitment to making more interoperable products, which benefits their customers and the entire industry while saving each member company money.
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What is a Testing Service?
A Testing Service, unlike a consortium, provides a contract-based set of tests. Companies wishing to test in a Testing Service pay a flat fee per test suite performed. After a consortium has been around a while and the test suites, test tools, and standards have stabilized to the point where few changes are taking place, the costs and development work associated with the technology are significantly reduced, so it becomes more efficient to operate on a fee-based system where each participant pays only for what they use.
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Where is the UNH-IOL and how do I get there?
Our 32,000+ square foot facility is near the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham, NH, although we operate independently of the university's academic departments. The UNH-IOL is close to airports in Boston, MA, Manchester NH, and Portland, ME. It is also accessible via train and bus. Our Visitor Information section provides ample information to help you plan your visit.
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Who works at the UNH-IOL?
More than 100 graduate and undergraduate student-employees from the University of New Hampshire work with full-time UNH-IOL staff, gaining hands-on experience with developing technologies and products from hundreds of major companies.
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Where do I find out about employment at the UNH-IOL?
For information about student employment at the UNH-IOL, check our employment page.

Technologies and Testing

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Do I have to leave my product in the laboratory?
Consortium membership requires any member to leave at least one representative product in the laboratory for at least 18 months. Leaving more than one product is encouraged, as is replacing outdated products with newer models.

There is no requirement to leave a piece of equipment in a Testing Service, however, doing so is encouraged. Any equipment in the consortium will be added to the interoperability test reference environment.

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You don't list my technology, are you going to test it?
Please contact us to discuss your needs.
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How much time can I schedule for testing?
A consortium membership entitles you to schedule a time slot. A time slot typically is one week however some consortiums schedule by test suite or even multiple weeks. Once that time slot has been used, you may schedule another slot and repeat this process for as many times as can be accommodated within the term of the membership. This typically results in 6-12 scheduled time slots per 12-month membership period. Having multiple memberships in one consortium allows you to schedule as many concurrent time slots as you have valid memberships within that consortium.
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What is the schedule of Group Test Periods (Plugfests)?
As Group Test Periods are announced, they are added to the Events section of our homepage. You do not have to be a UNH-IOL member to attend these test events.

Membership and Financial

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What is needed to begin a membership?
A filled out membership form and either payment or a purchase order, as well as at least one representative device left in the lab for eighteen months, as outlined in the consortium charter.
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How much does membership cost?
Membership costs vary by consortium. Please refer to our membership fees.
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What kind of payments do you accept?
We accept checks, purchase orders, and wire transfers. We also accept credit cards for some payments. Please contact Kari Younsi, by e-mail at kari.younsi@iol.unh.edu, or by phone at (603) 862-0696, if you have any questions.
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Whom should I contact about starting my membership?
The UNH-IOL Business Manager, Kari Younsi, kari.younsi@iol.unh.edu, (603) 862-0696.
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When does my membership begin/end?
Membership typically begins on the first day of the month after all membership requirements are met and runs for twelve full months. For example, if the completed, signed membership form and payment or purchase order were received on March 20, 2012, the membership would officially begin on April 1, 2012 and end on March 31, 2013. Note that you can schedule time in the consortium laboratory as soon as the membership requirements are met. In the circumstance that a member fulfills all membership requirements and wishes to test in the same month, the membership may begin the first day of the present month.