Idaho’s High-Speed Fiber Optic Backbone

Since its inception, IRON has been working for the people of Idaho, providing low-cost, high-speed connections for education, collaboration and research. IRON created its strong voice and place in the research community through its support of higher education institutions and research facilities like INL. It can now provide that support to other nonprofits that could provide significant benefits for our Idaho communities. Idaho is primed to make the most of IRON’s past successes and IRON looks forward to continuing to leverage amazing benefits for the citizens of our state.


NSHE System Computing Services is the recognized leader and catalyst for technology change and innovation in the Nevada System of Higher Education. Their purpose is to facilitate collaborative technology partnerships throughout NSHE and select agencies of the state of Nevada, with an adaptable, reliable, robust and current infrastructure and core application, network and technical services to enable users to excel in their core academic, research, outreach and administrative missions.


BCNET is a not-for-profit, shared services organization that represents the interests of our members––colleges, universities and research institutes in British Columbia. We continuously engage with our members to explore, evaluate and develop solutions that meet their unique needs. Our aim is to build value through collaboration, drive down costs, maximize efficiencies, expand services offerings, enhance service quality and further the mission of our members.


We foster a cooperative community by forging successful collaborations among members, industry and government by:

  • Fostering member involvement through our governance and committees
  • Leading IT-related initiatives, procurements and service development in partnership with our entire membership
  • Negotiating service agreements on behalf of our membership
  • Aligning with the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education to help the sector reduce costs and gain efficiencies
  • Measuring and reporting our service adoption
  • Building strategic alliances with industry partners
  • Brokering connections through city and community partnerships


The Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) is a high-performance, unclassified network built to support scientific research. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science (SC) and managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, ESnet provides services to more than 50 DOE research sites, including the entire National Laboratory system, its supercomputing facilities, and its major scientific instruments. ESnet also connects to 140+ research and commercial networks, enabling DOE-funded scientists to productively collaborate with partners around the world.


C-Light is a state-wide network of direct fiber connections. Managed by Clemson University this network reaches between Atlanta, Clemson, Greenville, Charlotte, Columbia, and Charleston. C-Light provides direct access to the National LambdaRail, Internet2 and other national and international research networks.

C-Light specifically provides faculty across the state with the infrastructure they need to collaborate with colleagues and access resources nationally and internationally and ensures the capability to apply for major research grants from funding agencies like the National Science Foundation.

In 2017, C-Light welcomed a new member in Furman University, who added a high-performance computing cluster of their own. Additionally, the C-Light backbone was upgraded to a 100 gigabit connection from its previous 10 gigabit connection.

Sun Corridor

The Sun Corridor Network supports research and education at gigabit speeds around Arizona.

The three state universities—Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona—collaborated to create direct high-speed connections with each other and with Internet2, sponsored by the Arizona Board of Regents.

All Arizona research and education institutions are eligible to join Sun Corridor Network, which is E-Rate eligible. Members include K-12 schools and school districts and community colleges.

Members using Sun Corridor Network can leverage Internet2’s high performance, low latency network and enjoy the benefits of a direct connection to Amazon Web Service and Microsoft AZURE without the cost of an additional point to point connection.

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation service is available automatically to Sun Corridor Network users and at no additional charge for the “On-Demand” (self – monitored) feature. Since standalone DDoS mitigation is not E-Rate eligible, this adds substantial value to Internet/Internet2 service.

Like the national Internet2 network and other regional research and education networks, the Sun Corridor Network is uniquely designed and engineered to meet the needs of some of the most demanding Internet users in the country: scientists, academics, and researchers. About 95% of the combined Internet traffic of the three Arizona state universities transits the Sun Corridor Network through two 100 Gbps connections to Internet2 and the commercial Internet in Tucson and Phoenix.

The Sun Corridor Network is the only Internet2 Connector Network in Arizona.

One network member leveraged the unique opportunities of high-speed connectivity for high school band students eager to prove themselves in the next arena—college. Sun Corridor Network director Michael Sherman explains, “The Paradise Valley high school band beamed virtually into the ASU Gammage Auditorium for a live performance with the ASU orchestra. Music is one of those areas where you just can’t have a one-second delay.”

ASU Conductor Dr. Jason Caslor used LoLa (Low Latency) technology, coupled with Sun Corridor Network and the national Internet2 network, to virtually conduct the two groups. They experienced an indistinguishable delay of less than one-thousandth of a second even though they were physically 25 miles apart.

In addition to local opportunities, the Sun Corridor Network—through their sponsorship of members into the Internet2 community—enables users to join over 80,000 other schools in accessing educational content available through over 300 higher education member institutions, and over 50 leading science, education and technology partners such as the National Parks Service, NASA, the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Institutions served:

    • K-12 schools: 5
    • Universities: 3
    • Community Colleges: 2
    • Research institutions: 2
    • Regional Network: 1
    • Public Media Stations (PBS, NPR): 2
    • Public Safety Agencies: 2

Community Anchor Program member since: July 1, 2012


Connecticut Education Network (CEN), the nation’s first all-optical research and education network, delivers reliable, highspeed internet access, data transport, and value-added services to its members drawn from K-12, higher education, libraries and municipalities throughout Connecticut. CEN’s statewide fiber optic network connects more than 1.8 million students, educators, researchers, state and municipal employees, and citizens in support of Connecticut’s workforce and economic development.

UN/Network Nebraska

Network Nebraska is a collaborative statewide networking effort under the auspices of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission (NITC) to share telecommunications resources, network services, and applications among eligible participants. Network Nebraska is the term used to describe the statewide multipurpose telecommunications backbone and all of its associated service offerings and support. Network Nebraska is made possible through a consortium of K-12 and higher education entities working together to provide a scalable, reliable and affordable infrastructure capable of carrying a spectrum of services and applications.


The Capital Area Advanced Research and Education Network (CAAREN) is an initiative designed to build a high-performance research and education infrastructure serving the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia areas. CAAREN facilitates world-class research, education and knowledge sharing in the nation’s capital.

CAAREN offers research network services to government, education and research organizations, as well as some private-sector organizations within the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. CAAREN is partnering with DC-Net, a program managed by the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), to reach public and private K-12 schools, public libraries, museums, hospitals and independent research organizations as part of the Internet2 Community Anchor Program (CAP).

CAAREN will enhance collaboration and reduce barriers to research, education and health applications, supporting the national capital region as a center of cutting-edge knowledge.


NYSERNet is a private not-for-profit corporation created to foster science and education in New York State. Its mission is to advance network technology and related applications to satisfy needs common to the institutions comprising New York State’s research and education community, providing a forum for exploration of the opportunities and challenges these innovations present.

NYSERNet has delivered next-generation Internet services to New York State’s research and education community for more than 25 years. NYSERNet members include New York State’s leading universities, colleges, museums, health care facilities, primary and secondary schools, and research institutions. NYSERNet’s Board of Directors is composed of CIOs and other senior personnel drawn from and representing New York’s leading research universities and institutions.

Founded in 1985, NYSERNet led efforts in 1987 to deploy one of the nation’s first statewide regional IP networks, the first in a succession of high-performance networks built by NYSERNet, two of which resulted in commercial spin-offs. NYSERNet nowadays offers members commercial Internet access via The Quilt, leveraging the aggregate buying power of its combined membership to secure attractive terms and pricing from major ISPs.

The NYSERNet Data Center is the newest addition to the suite of facility-based services now offered to members.

The Data Center is located adjacent to NYSERNet’s network POP in Syracuse, extending NYSERNet’s optical and Research & Education (R&E) networks to the center. The resulting network infrastructure is robust and flexible, enabling participants to connect to their equipment via GigE, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel SAN, the NYSERNet R&E network, and the commercial Internet.

NYSERNet’s original facility went live in June of 2007. It was designed to be commercial grade in all of the best ways. A shortcoming determined several years after construction was that the building’s floor loading capacity was insufficient to handle heavy cabinets. As the machine room grew to near capacity, the NYSERNet Board of Directors opted to build another in an adjacent space. The key modification to this space was the steel deck being built underneath the raised floor to accommodate 2,500-pound cabinets.

Stephen R. Kankus, NYSERNet Chief Operating Officer, explained that the concept for the original data center was that it would serve as a shared colocation site for systems integral to NYSERNet members’ disaster recovery/business continuity strategies. A working group composed of 23 individuals representing more than a dozen member institutions worked to develop specific requirements and to assess potential locations and designs.

The final design called for a 50-cabinet facility. Syracuse was chosen as the location because it would allow NYSERNet to leverage existing staff in the Syracuse office, it is close to all but one of NYSERNet’s largest member institutions, and is not prone to any natural disasters – other than getting a lot of snow in the winter.

The expansion was approved in January 2014, with construction commencing in August.  Kankus said he expects the project to be complete by end of the year.


The new space looks like most any machine room except that underneath the raised floor there is a platform of steel beams and girders that transfers the weight of the raised floor and everything that rests upon it to six columns, which then transfers the load to the building’s foundation three floors below. As a result, the expansion can accommodate 53 2500-pound cabinets.

The new space leverages most of the power plant (generator and UPS) assembled in 2007, which has plenty of capacity remaining. This helped keep the cost down to about $1 million, or $20,000 per cabinet.  In order to accommodate the target of 53 cabinets, NYSERNet likely need to add UPS capacity, but that is years off, according to Kankus.

Participating members for this project included NYU, Columbia University, Cornell University, Hofstra University, Stony Brook University, Marist College, the American Museum of Natural History, RIT, University at Buffalo, and SUNY Geneseo. Most participants are extending their LANs to the facility using waves or Ethernet services provided by NYSERNet.  Kankus added that most applications are DR/BC, but it is expected to see more production applications in the future and that some members already are deploying production applications in the facility.

“Our ability to provide affordable, high-bandwidth connectivity between the center and member campuses is a key differentiator between NYSERNet and commercial data center providers,” said Kankus. “However, this is secondary to the trust that exists between NYSERNet and its members, which is the really key differentiator.”

NYSERNet continues to grow participation in existing services and to evolve new ones. Market influences and member demand lead NYSERNet to expand the number of commercial ISPs it offers members from two to six. NYSERNet also formalized an education program, offering members a suite of hands-on technical training courses, revitalizing its annual technical conference, NYSERTech, and expanding its role in promoting and delivering the annual New York State Conference of Higher Education CIOs.

Leveraging its core competency in network operations, NYSERNet continues to innovate and looks forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.