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Internet2 and Level 3 Team To Deliver 8.8 Terabit to Schools

Advanced networking consortium Internet2 will be working with Level 3 Communications, which develops fiber-based communications services, to deliver 8.8 terabit capacity to support institutions nationwide, including K-12 schools and community colleges. The network upgrade will allow those users to access advanced applications not possible with the consumer-grade Internet services many of them currently work with.

The latest chapter in this partnership that has been in place since 2006 features a multi-year agreement to build a national network, which may come online as early as mid-summer. Internet2 will use at least 10,000 miles of fiber strands on Level 3's fiber-optic network, as well as the latter company's network management systems, to support a new 8.8 Tbps optical system and 100 Gbps Ethernet network.

Level 3 will install the optical equipment and provide support and collocation. Internet2 will own the optical equipment, will have priority use of the fiber infrastructure, and will direct provisioning and capacity planning.

The work is being funded by a federal stimulus grant from the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). That program funds work involving the building out of broadband infrastructure and expansion of public computing centers.

"It takes a massive amount of bandwidth to educate the leaders of tomorrow, to keep the medical community connected to the latest findings, and to power cutting-edge research projects that can enhance everyday living," said Edward Morche, senior vice president of Level 3's federal markets. "With Level 3's fiber-optic network and expertise, Internet2 is ready to support the bandwidth-intensive scientific and medical research applications that are changing lives both today and in the future."

Internet2 brings academic, industry, government, and international participants together with a mission of developing and deploying advanced network applications and technologies to power the continued growth of the Internet. The organization has 220 higher ed members and 33 research and education network members, among others.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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