CENIC Announces Path-Breaking 100Gb Connection with Orange County Department of Education Network April 09, 2016

CENIC is pleased to announce that CENIC, with its partners—the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE), the K-12 High Speed Network (K12HSN), and the California Department of Education (CDE)—has established the world’s first 100-Gigabit per second K-12 connection. The network connection went into production on March 24th, 2016.

“Here in Orange County, we have highly innovative educators who are continually looking to leverage new educational technologies that engage students and enhance instruction in reading, writing, math, and other core subjects. This latest upgrade to our infrastructure creates faster and far more robust internet connections than ever before, enabling the expanded use of rich educational content,” said Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares. “Our new 100-Gigabit ethernet connection will directly benefit more than half a million students and 20,000-plus teachers across 27 school districts. In doing so, it reflects our commitment to the vision that Orange County students will lead the nation in college and career readiness and success.”

CENIC was an early innovator in obtaining dark fiber leases, and lighting and managing fiber infrastructure to provide broadband connectivity for its education and research members. CENIC is, therefore, proud to announce the completion of a 100Gb connection for OCDE, making it the first K-12 entity in the nation to enjoy the benefits of 100Gb connectivity, and setting the stage for many of California’s 58 counties to achieve the same levels of connectivity for their schools.

“So much of what we do as educators, to provide our students with real world learning experiences and access to resources, is dependent upon internet connectivity,” said Irvine Unified Superintendent of Schools Terry Walker, from one of the 27 school districts to benefit from this new connection. “The ability to have a 100Gb connection will provide the Irvine Unified School District with the limitless ability to dramatically transform how students learn by leveraging technology and internet bandwidth in a way that has never been possible for K-12 schools, until now. It is the equivalent of adding 20 lanes to the 5 Freeway – imagine what that would do for traffic in Southern California. Now, imagine the possibilities for education.”

Leveraging the FCC’s Second E-Rate Modernization Order, which equalizes the treatment of lit and dark fiber, CENIC has successfully implemented scalable optical infrastructure to ensure OCDE will be able to meet the needs of the students and teachers in Orange County for years to come. As demand for additional bandwidth occurs, increasing the capacity of the fiber that has been deployed will be a simple matter of adding relatively inexpensive optical components to the existing equipment.

“The bandwidth needs for our schools are increasing at a tremendous rate, and keeping up with this trend has presented some challenges. The explosive growth of computing devices and rich online learning in our schools makes this bandwidth critically important for our students,” said Dr. Todd Finnell, County Superintendent of Schools in Imperial County. “Lighting up the first 100 Gig circuit in California’s K-12 system is indicative of this growth, and the need for it came much sooner than any of us would have expected. This is a major step forward for school networking in California, and the students throughout Orange County will see immediate improvements in their level of connectivity and the many benefits it brings.”

The Orange County 100Gb dark fiber connection is the first of a number of planned 100Gb connections for K-12 sites in California. CENIC is working to complete 100Gb connections for Riverside and San Diego County Offices of Education within the next few months. An additional ten 100Gb connections for K-12 sites are included in CENIC’s consortial E-Rate filing and planned for production after July 1, 2016, coinciding with the current FCC E-Rate cycle.

“The remarkable collaboration among CDE, OCDE, CENIC, and our private sector colleagues who provided the fiber leases and the hardware is another example of the uniqueness of the CENIC community,” said CENIC President & CEO Louis Fox. “Ultimately, our students and teachers, faculty and students, and researchers and clinicians will use these new capacities in ways that we never imagine as they focus on the critical issues of our time and invent a better future for us all.”



The CENIC 2016 Annual Conference: The Right Connection will bring together industry leaders in education, research and technology, and arts and culture to learn, listen, discuss and network – deepening the understanding of existing communities and discovering ways to build new communities that transcend sectors.

Join us for three days of thoughtful presentations, interactive demos, dynamic speakers, and plenty of opportunities to cultivate and strengthen relationships. The 2016 Innovations in Networking Awards will be presented as well.

The conference will be held from March 21-23, 2016 on the beautiful UC Davis campus. UC Davis has earned its stellar reputation through outstanding students and a breadth of academic programs, global leadership in sustainability, and a commitment to addressing society’s needs through innovative research and public service.

(For More Information – Link to CENIC Conference Site)


Federal Funding Expands Reach of KINBER to Three Local Colleges

Harrisburg, PA (March. 7) — Building upon the groundwork established by its community educational efforts and initial National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) is working with three Pennsylvania NSF 2015 Campus Cyberinfrastructure – Data, Networking, and Innovation (CC*DNI) awardees to strengthen campus cyberinfrastructure in the commonwealth. Bucks County Community College, Franklin & Marshall College, and Harrisburg Area Community College received grants totaling more than $900,000 to seed campus innovation. The two community colleges are currently the first and only community colleges nationwide to receive campus cyberinfrastructure awards.

“Campus cyberinfrastructure supports science research and education, and enhancing its performance on these campuses provides expanded opportunities for the students, faculty and community members,” said Wendy Huntoon, KINBER CEO and president.

“I am thrilled that our efforts helped PA schools receive three out of the seven awards distributed nationally in the area of campus design, and KINBER will continue to encourage innovation by connecting Pennsylvania organizations to national and state resources, providing expertise, and offering opportunities for collaboration,” she added. A total of 36 CC*DNI awards in seven different areas were distributed to date in response to the 2015 solicitation.

In February 2014, KINBER began providing training and support for PA organizations to submit grants to federal funders, such as the NSF with outreach including direct support continuing under KINBER’s NSF grant, awarded in March 2015. To date, KINBER’s activities have included webinars, in person trainings, sharing announcements and direct support. KINBER’s efforts increased the awareness and accessibility of these types of funding opportunities as well as provided guidance and best practices on how to submit an effective proposal.

The three awardees identified a diverse set of projects that would benefit from the new infrastructure.

Energizing the Future of STEM@Bucks

Bucks County Community College (Bucks) was awarded nearly $350,000 to create a high-throughput science research network to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) faculty and students. Proposed as part of the initiative are upgrades to Bucks campus cyberinfrastructure to support research with a Science DMZ to prioritize data transfers among systems located at Bucks benefitting projects investigating improved forms of image recognition, applied engineering, and other computational sciences; offers an outdoor high performance Wi-Fi network as a Science DMZ extension; and access to Internet2 to support faculty and student research through the statewide education network.

Bucks’ lead institution partner, the University of Pennsylvania, is aiding with design and technical services and will provide Bucks students and faculty access to scientific domains at a level not previously available, extending intellectual opportunities. Additionally, with advanced manufacturing, nursing and other science-related activity in the county and surrounding area, the Science DMZ indirectly benefits the people, educational institutions and businesses of the region.

In response to the grant award, Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt, president, Bucks County Community College, said, “We at Bucks are very excited about the capabilities that this grant is providing for the sciences. By upgrading our cyberinfrastructure, faculty and students will have access to resources previously unimaginable. The resulting educational benefits will serve our students and this region well. KINBER and the University of Pennsylvania have been great partners with us in this endeavor.”

CC*DNI Campus Design: Building a State-Of-The-Art Research Network at Franklin and Marshall College

“KINBER has been a really strategic partner in this effort,” said Carrie Rampp, associate vice president & CIO, Franklin & Marshall College.

“Not only did we learn of this possible opportunity through KINBER, but I doubt we would have applied if it wasn’t for the support and advice we received,” she said.

The $350,000 award funds both planning and implementation of a number of network infrastructure initiatives that will directly benefit scientific research. In a context where undergraduates work in close partnership with faculty researchers, students also directly benefit from access to a network optimized for data exchange with researchers at universities worldwide.

Franklin and Marshall will realize these improvements through the creation of a Science DMZ, DTN and deployment of end-to-end performance monitoring. This work will optimize the college’s local area network in support of high-performance scientific applications, maximizing the rate at which data can move on campus and between institutions to levels researchers would only typically expect at an R1 institution and strengthen current and future research support for faculty via collaboration with KINBER, a Pennsylvania-wide education and research computing network.

During Fall 2015 Franklin and Marshall began work in partnership with KINBER in planning the Science DMZ, data transfer node and perfSONAR deployment. Completed to date was the college’s move to a 10 Gbps connection to KINBER, which has provided first-time access to the Internet2 backbone. The college became a full member of Internet2; a first step in the components of the project that focuses on new experimentation with off-site high performance computing solutions that were not previously possible.

“We are really pleased that KINBER is serving as our strategic partner during the planning and implementation phase and that they were willing to serve in this role, which is specifically required and defined by the NSF, Rampp said. “KINBER’s expertise has been invaluable and the staff also helped to connect us to other institutions that might serve as examples in our planning.”

CC*DNI Campus Design: Midtown WAN Redesign for GIS and CIS Science Research at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College 

Robert Messner, vice president of Information Technology & CIO, HACC, said, “The CC*DNI award will allow our college to increase our wide-area network connectivity by a factor of 10 between the Midtown and Harrisburg Campus locations, ensuring that our STEM students are provided the most reliable and robust connectivity necessary for their continued success.”

HACC will use the $209,000 award to re-architect its network infrastructure to expand science and technology classroom connectivity from 100 Mbps to 1Gbps. As a result of this project, HACC students and faculty will have access to online educational materials in one place, accessible from anywhere and the ability to learn remotely and use time on campus efficiently. This project supports the implementation of HACC’s science and technology symposia, current and potential grant-funded projects, service and research projects and mobile learning course-content production.

HACC will be better able to prepare an educated workforce for Pennsylvania’s key industries, including energy, technology, manufacturing and agribusiness. This model can be a foundation for HACC’s other campuses and other regional institutions to implement similar projects and programs to support STEM education.

“The partnership with KINBER on this grant was critical as it provided our college the necessary information, services and framework to successfully respond to the rigid grant criteria and obtain the award,” said Messner.

“I look forward to working with KINBER during the implementation of this grant’s objectives and to expanding our partnership by identifying additional services offered which will provide value to our college,” he added.

In support of its mission, KINBER will continue to provide training and guidance for colleges which plan to seek grants to enhance research and education.

“I encourage others in the state to submit proposals for either the next campus cyberinfrastructure round and/or other infrastructure funding opportunities,” Huntoon said.

Visit the NSF CC*DNI page to read the complete abstracts for each award.

To learn more about how KINBER can support your organization’s cyberinfrastructure initiatives as well as upcoming events, including KINBERCON 2016, KINBER’s annual conference taking place in Philadelphia on April 11 – 13, 2016, visit

Press Release