Governor Abbott appoints LEARN President & CEO Akbar Kara to Governor’s Broadband Development Council August 24, 2021

Lubbock, Texas (August 24, 2021) – Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Akbar Kara, Bill Hetherington, and Hatch Smith, Jr. to the Governor’s Broadband Development Council (GBDC) for terms set to expire on August 31, 2026. The GBDC was established in 2019 in order to study and identify ways to provide Internet to underserved areas of Texas. The council’s duties include: research the progress of broadband development in unserved areas; identify barriers to residential and commercial broadband deployment in unserved areas; study technology neutral solutions to overcome barriers identified under Subdivision; and analyze how statewide access to broadband would benefit economic development; the delivery of educational opportunities in higher education and public education; state and local law enforcement; state emergency preparedness; and the delivery of health care services, including telemedicine and telehealth.

I am truly humbled by this opportunity to serve my fellow Texans in rural and underserved
regions – Akbar Kara, President and CEO of LEARN.

Read the full announcement from Governor Abbott’s office.

OneOCII-OneNet Collaboration Leads to $11 Million in Research Funding August 18, 2021

Since 2008, a collaboration between Oklahoma’s higher education institutions and OneNet has led to $11 million in research funding, providing cyberinfrastructure (CI) resources for research computing and data to 17 Oklahoma colleges and universities. CI resources include technology systems that offer advanced capabilities for powerful data computing over the internet.

The OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure Initiative (OneOCII) is a statewide collaboration to expand CI resources and share expertise and education among academic organizations.

OneOCII began in 2008 when Oklahoma won a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for research infrastructure improvements. Since then Oklahoma institutions have received 18 CI grant awards. The awards have funded projects ranging from supercomputers to deploying a dedicated high-speed research network across the state. [Read the full article at OneNet | News]

High Capacity Fiber Internet Service Expedites Connectivity in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula through Highline Internet August 02, 2021

Upper Peninsula, MI. August 2, 2021 – 1 Gigabit Internet service will soon be available in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, thanks to an ambitious community broadband expansion effort by Highline Internet.

To provide lightning-fast Internet to as many Upper Peninsula residents as quickly as possible, Highline will leverage existing open access dark fiber and dark wave optical middle-mile infrastructure from Merit Network. Highline is constructing a 6,000+ mile fiber-to-the-home network that leverages federal investment from the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund (RDOF) to deliver real high speed Internet access for tens of thousands of Michigan residents. Engineering and construction work is underway and Highline will begin providing service to customers by the end of this year. [Read the full article on Merit | News]