The Connecticut Education Network (CEN) delivers reliable, high-speed Internet access, data transport, and value added services to its members throughout Connecticut. CEN operates as a connected community to provide fundamental broadband infrastructure for students, researchers, faculty and citizens to use.

CEN delivers access to technologies that schools and libraries would not be able to afford on their own.  This investment is supported by the State of Connecticut, private schools, non-profit organizations and institutions of higher education committed to the overall improvement and equity in education.  CEN also supports “open access” use of the network, enabling connections in areas of the state where it traditionally has been expensive to obtain high-speed Internet.

CEN Director Scott Taylor on why being a member of The Quilt is beneficial to its members explains that “Quilt membership allows CEN to leverage our network and community of peers in order to provide services that we would be unable to offer on our own.”

In this instance, CEN currently is assisting the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) reach the Jessie Ball duPont Center in Jacksonville, Fla. with the help of Quilt member Florida LambdaRail.  The $21 million center, slated to open in April, will serve as headquarters for more than 10 non-profit organizations as well as the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “This work is establishing CEN and Connecticut as leaders in providing IT services to non-profit and educational organizations,” Taylor said.

CCAT President and CEO Elliot Ginsberg specifies that through a partnership with CEN they have been able to provide reliable, cost-effective and secure IT services such as infrastructure, virtual desktops, educational web content delivery, streaming video and VoIP to schools, libraries, nonprofits and municipalities across the state.  “In today’s digital world”, Ginsberg continues, “providing IT services of this caliber through CEN is vital to advancing educational achievement and sustaining Connecticut’s economic growth, and CCAT is expanding the use of CEN beyond Connecticut in new ways just like at the DuPont Center.”

Another example of such an external partnership was CEN’s connection with Quilt member OSHEAN, so Yale University could access Navisite. They have also helped the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine reach their Maine headquarters by leveraging membership with the Northeast Research and Education Network (NEREN) and the NEREN optical network as well as their partners from another Quilt member, Networkmaine.

“It is from participating with these types of collaborations via The Quilt over the past 18 months that has allowed us to continually leverage the network in innovative ways,” Taylor said.

Over the past 15 years, with strategic investments in network infrastructure, management and operations upgrades, CEN has had many achievements.  For example, CEN now provides a 100G Layer 2/Layer 3 fiber connection via the Internet2 network backbone to researchers at the University of Connecticut (UConn).  This connection capability benefits UConn’s research community by facilitating high-performance, data-intensive research collaboration and exchanges among peers at both national and international institutions.  Other examples include multiple 10G connections with Jackson Labs, a 100G backbone between Connecticut and Cambridge, access to premier R&E network operations support 24x7x365 through Indiana University, a highly-redundant meshed fiber backbone with 20 optical nodes, bandwidth capacity to support K-12 and library bandwidth utilization of more than 20G, multiple partnerships with content distribution networks such as Akamai, and providing cost-effective capacity for 400 gigabits of peering connectivity and network management for member institutions.

The future for CEN looks very bright and full of exciting opportunities.