Category Archives: Blog

Fall Member Meeting Recap: Collocation, Collaboration, Higher Ed Video Highlights and Happy 35th OARnet!

Another Quilt Fall Member Meeting is in the books, and we had a great time in Ohio!

Building on the success of several years of collocating events, this year’s Fall Member Meeting also coincided with the NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop and KNIT 7, the third in-person FABRIC Community Workshop. It also was timed to celebrate the Ohio Academic Resources Network’s (OARnet) 35th Anniversary.

“Our research and education networking community is comprised of extremely talented and dedicated individuals working collaboratively toward a common mission. It’s a special time when our Quilt community is able to get together in person,” said Jen Leasure, president and CEO of The Quilt. “We appreciate the opportunity to once again collocate our fall meeting with other important community events. We are especially grateful for the opportunity to help OARnet, one of our founding Quilt members, celebrate their 35th anniversary.”

“It was an amazing week for OARnet,” added Pankaj Shah, executive director OARnet and past chair of The Quilt Board of Directors. “You left us local attendees with a joyous memory of a wonderful anniversary celebration.”

Ohio has 14 public universities, 24 regional branch campuses, 23 community colleges, and a statewide workforce education and training network. Ohio Higher Education provided a video highlight of some of the discussions from the Fall Member Meeting.

Happy anniversary once again, OARnet!

We look forward to seeing you again soon. Be on the lookout for our 2024 meeting schedule.


2023 Fall Member Meeting heads to Columbus

Our 2023 Fall Member Meeting is this week, and we have a great program lined up for Quilt members, affiliates and guests at The Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 25-27. We are looking forward to this gathering of our national Quilt community and stakeholders to collaborate, exchange resources with one another, and collectively advance networking for research and education.

Building on the success of several years of collocating events, this year’s Fall Member Meeting also coincides with the NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop and KNIT 7, the third in-person FABRIC Community Workshop. It also is timed to celebrate OARnet’s 35th Anniversary and their Fall Member Meeting.

Some of the best networking minds in the country will be gathered all in one place for some exciting discussions on how R&E networks are uniquely positioned to meet today’s infrastructure challenges and to support researchers in their scientific discoveries.

Highlights of the meeting agenda include a joint networking reception, plenaries on digital equity and inclusion, and discussions around Internet for All, BEAD, and state broadband strategic planning. We also are excited to facilitate additional conversations on AI in networking, cybersecurity, innovation, quantum networking, Quilt Member Lightning Talks, and much more.

We have a dynamic program in store, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to bring all these great groups together in one place.

You can participate in social media conversations using #QuiltinOH or @TweettheQuilt.

See you in Columbus!

The Quilt again shines collaborative light on future of R&E Networking

The Quilt, a consortium of regional Research and Education (R&E) Networks throughout the United States, hosted its annual Fall Member Meeting virtually on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30. More than 100 registered attendees and stakeholders gathered online for two days to collectively advance networking for research and education throughout the United States.

The program included several plenary and breakout sessions particularly relevant to the R&E networking community.

R&E partnerships with state leaders to facilitate internet access solutions for unserved and underserved communities topped the list of hot topics and “aha moments” from this year’s meeting.

The meeting opened with a “Fireside Chat” with CENIC’s Louis Fox outlining California’s new statewide middle-mile broadband initiative. The Fireside Chat led into a panel discussion moderated by Louis and included panelists from the Ohio, Oregon, and Nevada R&E networks as well as included the R&E state broadband leader partners from the State of Ohio’s broadband office called BroadbandOhio as well as a state representative from Oregon who is a champion of affordable broadband access in the state. The panel discussion focused on the important role of R&E networks in state broadband strategies.

Another presentation by Sun Corridor Network (SCN) and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) focused on the collaborative efforts between the two organizations with the goal of delivering affordable broadband access to the unserved and underserved in the stae. Derek Masseth with Sun Corridor noted that it has been a great partnership, and SCN very much appreciates ADOT’s willingness to partner!

Additional comments shared in the virtual chat during the presentation included …This year attendees also took deep dives into areas such as disaster recovery, network facilities management, mapping, and cybersecurity. MCNC Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer Chris Beal talked on the emergence of new R&E cybersecurity solutions to help protect community anchor institutions as well as the North Carolina organization’s new managed services cybersecurity practice called Vital Cyber.“No one is safe from hackers today. There have been far too many headlines recently involving phishing or ransomware attacks affecting big companies and industries. But what you don’t hear much about is how cyber criminals hit our schools, our hospitals, our libraries, and other community anchor institutions,” explained Beal. “These important pillars in our local towns need more protections from today’s growing cyber threats. That why Vital Cyber was created to develop and activate a full suite of managed security services to protect North Carolina’s critical cyber infrastructure; marrying a proven and tested combination of tools, services, and consulting without any extra hardware or staff.”

Additional sessions focused on budget planning, cloud, business continuity, fiber IRU renewals and inter-exchange points, observations from the most-recent NSF CC* PI Workshop, and much more.

The two-day event closed out with a fascinating presentation from Eli Dart, Lauren Rotman, and Jason Zurawski on ESnet’s High Energy Physics requirements and R&E network preparedness for next Large Hadron Collider (LHC) run.

“Identifying new opportunities for Quilt members to leverage one another’s resources and expertise is the hallmark of Quilt events,” said Jen Leasure, President and CEO of The Quilt. “Although we all would like to get together in person, the level of conversation even virtually is of such a great benefit to all of our members as well as our collective mission.”

The Quilt is the national coalition of non-profit U.S. regional research and education networks representing 40 networks across the country. Members of The Quilt provide advanced network services and applications to over 900 universities and tens of thousands of other educational and community anchor institutions. Together, we promote consistent, reliable, inter-operable and efficient advanced networking services that extend to the broadest possible community and represent common interests in the development and delivery of advanced cyberinfrastructure that enables innovation through our education and research mission.

The next member meeting for The Quilt is scheduled for early February 2021.


The Quilt returns to La Jolla in February

We kick off our 20th anniversary this year by heading back to California for our annual 2020 Winter Member Meeting on Feb. 5-7 in La Jolla.

The Quilt begins this year’s 20th anniversary in February by heading back to one of our favorite places for our annual Winter Member Meeting in La Jolla. We are looking forward to this year’s in-person gathering of our national Quilt community and stakeholders to collectively advance networking and cyberinfrastructure for research and education. We also are excited that Internet2 is collocating its Regional Principals Meeting with us this year

We have many exciting conversations and topics planned for the upcoming event with plenty of time to network with your colleagues from across the country throughout the course of the program. You can read a few of the highlighted areas below as well as view the full 2020 Agenda here.

Highlights & Opportunities

This year’s event kicks off with the NOAA N-Wave and RON Partner Breakfast followed by in-person meetings for our Quilt working groups as well as annual CEO Round Table and quarterly meeting of The Quilt Board of Directors. We’ll wrap up the day with a networking reception hosted by Ciena.

Our first full day together will include plenary talks and panel discussions covering a variety of topics including the Tribal Digital Village Network R&E Partnership, updates on National Science Foundation’s CISE and Campus Cyberinfrastructure Program investments, examining a case study in REN and community college partnerships in Arizona, and how to successfully build a security services portfolio for R&E Networking Communities. In the afternoon, our program focuses in on smaller group discussions on topics of importance to our members such as EPOC deep dive outcomes and researcher engagement, network automation and telemetry, telecom policy discussions, and helpful discussions on fiber facilities, bridging the rural digital divide, connecting community anchor institutions, and more.

On our final day, a confluence of our Quilt Working Groups will discuss network security solutions and services, eSports programs, regional network roles in community preparedness, and MANRS compliance.


Please join us in thanking our industry supporters for helping make this year’s event possible: AWS, Carahsoft, Ciena, Juniper Networks, Pier Group, and Red Hat.


If you need further information about this year’s meeting, please contact Jennifer Griffin.

Social Media

Be sure to follow us @TweettheQuilt and participate on social media using #QuiltinSoCal.

Register now for 2020 Presidential Primary Sources Project

Registration is now open the 2020 Presidential Primary Sources Project (PPSP) program series.

PPSP is an interactive, distance-learning program in collaboration with numerous National Park Sites and Presidential Libraries around the country. These sites present a series of free, 45-minute interactive videoconferencing programs aimed at students in grades 4-12.

Through the use of primary source documents and interactive videoconferencing, the 2020 program series will take students on a journey through the historical legacies of our presidents. By the conclusion of each session, students will have gained a greater understanding of our nation’s presidents, and how they shaped the past and present of our country.

The series will run from January through March 2020.

Free registration is now open, so feel free to visit the project web page for more information and to sign up today! Or, for more details, download this brochure.

If you have any questions, reach out to Therese Perlowski, program manager, Internet2 Community Anchor Program (CAP), at

2019 Fall Member Meeting heads to Minnesota

Our 2019 Fall Member Meeting is next week, and we have a great program lined up for Quilt members, affiliates and guests at The Downtown Renaissance Hotel – The Depot on Sept. 24-26 in Minneapolis.

At the invitation of our Quilt member, Northern Lights GigaPoP, The Quilt is excited to have our community gather in the Twin Cities to learn, share, and collectively advance networking for research and education.

Building on the success of several years of collocating events, this year’s Fall Member Meeting also coincides with the National Science Foundation Campus Cyberinfrastructure and Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop and the Third National Research Platform (NRP) Workshop.

Some of the best networking minds in the country will be gathered all in one place for some exciting discussions on how R&E networks are uniquely positioned to meet today’s infrastructure challenges to support researchers in their scientific discoveries.

The meeting agenda is available here. Highlights include a joint networking reception, plenaries on bridging the rural divide, telling community stories with broadband data, and refraction networking with additional highlights include an overview of novel infrastructure services to support campus eSports, a CyberRISK (Regional Information Security Knowledge-sharing) Workshop, updates on the Internet2 Community Anchors Program, securing research at scale, spectrum experiments from the UETN Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), Quilt Member Lightning Talks, and much more.

We have a dynamic program in store for you! We are looking forward to the opportunity to bring all these great groups together all in one place, and thanks again to Quilt member Northern Lights GigaPoP for the invitation.

For meeting logistics and registration, please contact Tracey Norris at

You can participate in social media conversations using #QuiltinMinn or @TweettheQuilt.

See you next week Minneapolis!

R&E Networks empower communities in a time of unprecedented demands

A panel of national and international R&E network leaders came together recently for “R&E Networks at a Crossroads” during CENIC’s 2019 Conference.

The Square Kilometer Array radio telescope — the largest scientific facility on Earth — will generate more data per day than the entire global Internet when it comes online in the mid-2020s. SKA will help search for Earth-like planets, signs of alien life, dark matter, and black holes. It will be 10,000 times more powerful than any telescope currently used.

The project represents a tremendous opportunity for science, but it comes with a massive challenge to provide unprecedented computing power and historic data networking capabilities. It’s an example of the ever-increasing demands on research and education networks that serve data-intensive projects. These days, R&E networks find themselves at a crossroads with demands at all-time highs and budgets that have not kept pace.

A panel of national and international R&E network leaders came together at CENIC’s 2019 Conference to discuss the challenges networks face and what they’re doing to provide the high-speed connectivity and customized services that bolster scientific discovery and promote digital access. R&E networks have helped researchers solve some of science’s biggest challenges in fields such as natural disaster mitigation, climate change, medicine, and information technology. Networks also help bridge the digital divide, and provide new opportunities for online education and workforce training.

“It’s important to tell our stories,” said Jen Leasure, president and CEO of The Quilt, a consortium representing R&E networks across the United States. “As R&E networks need to do a better job of telling our stories through outreach and education about the impact of these networks and their services.”

Panelists Carlos Casasús (CUDI), Louis Fox (CENIC), Jen Leasure (The Quilt), Inder Monga (ESnet), Howard Pfeffer (Internet2), and Tripti Sinha (MAX) agreed that one of the greatest assets of R&E networks is their ability to collaborate. While commercial Internet service providers are characterized by competition, R&E networks thrive because of collaboration is fundamental to their work: the science and education communities they serve are frequently unbounded by discipline, institution, or geographic borders. Moreover, by working together, R&E network members typically enjoy reduced costs, shared expertise, shared services, advanced security, increased buying power, and economies of scale.

“Networks provide enormous capabilities and potential for serving all of the missions of our diverse research, education, library, arts and culture, health care, and government constituencies,” said Louis Fox, CENIC president and CEO. “We want to ensure that the valuable network resources and services we are entrusted to develop and operate serve these constituencies, help them further their work, and help them reach their most audacious and ambitious goals.”

Several leading networks are on the verge of major technology upgrades to support increasing traffic demands. The Department of Energy’s ESnet, the world’s fastest network for science, has experienced exponential traffic growth and is now moving more than a petabyte of data per week. As a result, ESnet is planning its next-generation architecture, ESnet6, which will deliver up to eight times more capacity. Internet2, the nation’s largest and fastest coast-to-coast R&E network infrastructure, saw traffic increase 2,500% between 2008 and 2016.

R&E networks drive innovation. Networks are designed to move huge amounts of data across the globe quickly, reliably, and securely, to accelerate scientific discovery that solves the big issues facing our world. R&E networks work together in a way that commercial providers cannot. “Research and education networks play a huge role in diminishing the gaps between the haves and have-nots,” said Carlos Casasús, director general of Mexico’s R&E network, CUDI (Corporación Universitaria para el Desarrollo de Internet).

Networking can supersede politics, and provide an important model for international collaboration. Seven countries signed an agreement in March to create a global governing body for the SKA telescope array. The body was modeled after CERN, Europe’s particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN’s scientific publications and resources are open source, freely available in a highly collaborative environment. It’s public science for the benefit of society.

At the center of CENIC’s work is its commitment to supporting the research and educational missions of its members. More than 20 million people, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers, and individuals at other vital public-serving institutions, rely on CENIC’s California Research and Education Network (CalREN) to connect with each other and the world. CENIC provides exceptional value in advanced networking based on our unique understanding and undivided attention to our users’ needs. We share our knowledge and serve as an advocate for public policy that advances broadband access for all.

Watch video of the complete panel discussion, “R&E Networks as a Crossroads,” from CENIC’s 2019 conference.


(Editor’s Note: The following has been re-published by permission from Quilt Member CENIC.)


Broadband on the Boardwalk

The Quilt will be returning to La Jolla, California on Feb. 4-7 for its 2019 Winter Member Meeting.

Some of the greatest networking minds in the country will converge in California this February as The Quilt returns to La Jolla for its annual Winter Member Meeting. We are looking forward to this year’s in-person gathering of our national Quilt community and stakeholders to collectively advance networking and cyberinfrastructure for research and education.

We have many exciting conversations and topics planned for you this year. We also have provided ample time between sessions for working lunch meetings and other networking opportunities. View 2019 Agenda.

Highlights & Opportunities

This year’s event kicks off with in-person meetings for our Quilt working groups and CEO Round Table as well as our quarterly meeting of The Quilt Board of Directors. We’ll wrap up the day with a networking reception hosted by Quilt CIS Program Authorized Providers at the Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.

On Wednesday our general session begins highlighted by a plenary talk by Dr. David Halstead, CIO at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). His discussion on Network Enabled Radio Astronomy: Synthesis Imaging at 100 Tbps is one not to miss. We also will feature discussions on E-Rate, R&E Network Analytics, Security, and get an update on the National Broadband Policy.

We also are looking forward to hearing about the National High School Cyber Challenge. The Quilt has joined with our member, Merit Network, to offer an opportunity to all our Quilt members to engage their connected high school communities in a national R&E cyber challenge – a competition that tests students’ skills in networking, programming and operating system security. It was developed by Merit and the Michigan Cyber Range and is being offered at no cost to schools or students. Pierrette Widmeyer and Charlotte Bewersdorff from Merit will present an overview of the competition as well as facilitate a working session later in the day.
Our dynamic program wraps up its final day on Thursday with the NOAA N-Wave and RON Partner Breakfast followed by a confluence of Quilt forums and working groups as well as a round table discussion on friction-free networking for scientific research focused on cyberinfrastructure resources for researchers.


If you need further information about this year’s Winter Member Meeting, please contact Jennifer Griffin.

Social Media

Be sure to follow us @TweettheQuilt and/or follow all conversations on social media using #QuiltinSoCal.

SC18 brings supercomputing’s best and brightest to Dallas

Every November, thousands of researchers and industry representatives in high-performance computing and related fields, such as advanced networking, data storage, and data analysis, meet for the annual Supercomputing Conference (SC18) in Dallas, Texas, to learn about HPC and scientific applications and innovations from around the world.

SC18 marks the 30th Anniversary of the SC Conference Series, and hasn’t been back in Dallas for 18 years. This year’s event, with the theme “HPC Inspires” is set for Nov. 11-16 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas. Exhibits will be on display Nov. 12-15.

HPC Inspires

Imagine the possibilities. Unlike any time in history, HPC allows us to analyze many points of data to make groundbreaking discoveries in all fields of inquiry, connecting humanity to the world around us as never before.

What is SCinet?

SCinet is a truly special collaboration among more than 180 highly-skilled volunteers from about 80 domestic and international organizations. All donate their time, energy, and unique skills to the overall success of the conference, with the generous support of their home institutions.

SCinet Chair Jason Zurawski is a Science Engagement Engineer at the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) headquartered and managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. ESnet is the U.S. Department of Energy’s high-performance networking facility. In 2004, while Jason was a computer science graduate student, he volunteered to plan, build and operate SCinet, the SC Conference’s dedicated high-capacity network. SCinet supplies exhibitors with high-capacity feeds to run all their applications in addition to providing high-speed WiFi to more than 10,000 attendees. It is a giant task and requires the best in the business to create and manage it. Read more from Jason in this blog.

Quilt Members once again have joined many from the international supercomputing community to play an integral part of the annual event through demonstrations, booths, presentations and the building of SCinet. Those include: Great Plains Network (Booth 1035); Louisiana State University (Booth 1816); University of Utah (1828); Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (2028); NCAR (Booth 2000); Indiana University (Booth 2400); Ohio Supercomputing Center (Booth 3037); Starlight (Booth 2851); and Pacific Wave (Booth 3158), just to name a few.

Another Win for WINS

Five women IT professionals have been selected to participate in the “Women in IT Networking at SC” (WINS) inclusivity program at SC18. They will join peers from around the globe to help build and operate SCinet.

This year’s WINS participants are:

  • Brenna Meade, telecom analyst at the University of Denver in Colorado
  • Erika Kindlimann, network security engineer at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan
  • Jessa Westclark, network specialist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Kalina Dunn, network engineer at GlobalNOC at Indiana University
  • Loren Adams, network engineer at Georgia State University in Atlanta

In recognition for its work to provide professional development opportunities to highly-qualified women in the networking field, the WINS program received the 2017 Innovations in Networking Award for Experimental Applications presented by Quilt Member, CENIC. Read more about it.

This year’s WINS review committee was led by Wendy Huntoon of KINBER and included Carrie Gates of Securelytix, Eli Dart of ESnet, Dave Jent of GlobalNOC and the Quilt, John Kolb of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Amy Philipson of Pacific Northwest Gigapop, and Linda Winkler of Argonne National Laboratory.

WINS is funded by the NSF and the Department of Energy. It was initiated in 2015 as joint effort between ESnet, the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), and SCinet.

As of 2018, WINS has funded 24 women to participate in SCinet.

Staying in the Loop

Real-time event conversations can be found @Supercomputing on Twitter or using #SC18.

If you or others from Quilt Member institutions plan to attend SC18, we would like to hear from you and your experience for a future blog. Please contact us or Tweet us @TweetTheQuilt.


The Quilt offers ideas for new federal e-Connectivity pilot

The Quilt is pleased to offer recommendations for a new USDA program created to expand rural broadband in underserved rural and tribal areas throughout the United States.

A new rural broadband program funded within the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 now authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to distribute $600 million through the “e-Connectivity” pilot that targets support in the form of grants and loans.

In July, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue invited comments on the implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program, and The Quilt responded on behalf of R&E networks across the country.

According to a 2018 report by the FCC, approximately 19 million rural American households do not have reliable, affordable, high-speed internet access. Without e-connectivity, the report noted, rural Americans cannot reach their full productivity in the workplace, receive the best education, nor benefit from the highest quality of health care.

USDA is developing this pilot to catalyze private investment and bring broadband to unserved rural areas of the country. The new program provides a unique opportunity to develop modern methods to leverage federal funds that increase private investment in broadband services for as many rural American homes, businesses, farms, schools, and health care facilities as possible.

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to solutions to bridge the broadband gap in
underserved areas. The Quilt has offered the following recommendations:

  • R&E networks play a vital and expansive role in their respective broadband landscapes.
  • RUS should prioritize e-Connectivity Pilot Applications that include connectivity to Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) and tribal lands.
  • The e-Connectivity Pilot should consider the broadband needs of communities and regions, not just census blocks.
  • The e-Connectivity Pilot should fund middle-mile infrastructure where necessary to deliver sufficient broadband access to residences and CAIs.

The program should measure broadband access, affordability, and performance (noting a recent submission to the NTIA on how to improve the quality and accuracy of broadband availability data by one of our member networks, Merit, filed jointly with The Quello Center at Michigan State University). Please see our previous blogpost on this official submission.


USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. Gaining expert insight on this pilot program will give the USDA all the information they need to make the most effective use of these new and innovative funds.

Submissions and comments were due to the USDA by Sept. 10, 2018.