The Quilt recognizes UETN’s Jim Stewart for distinguished service March 09, 2022

Technology leaders throughout United States celebrate career of Utah innovator with highest honor 

SEATTLE, Wash. (March 9, 2022)The Quilt, a consortium of regional Research and Education (R&E) networks in the United States, today announced that Jim Stewart, Chief Technology Officer at the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN), has received this year’s Dave Reese Distinguished Service Award.

The Dave Reese Distinguished Service Award was created to honor individuals who have provided extraordinary leadership, support, and service to The Quilt community and its stakeholders. The award is named in honor of Dave Reese (1958-2019), who was a founding member of The Quilt and served in a number of leadership roles for the organization including chairman of the board and treasurer.

“This award recognizes individuals who appreciate the diverse set of organizations that comprise The Quilt membership, embody the belief that collaboration makes the whole cloth of The Quilt stronger, and dedicate their time to supporting initiatives that broadly impact member organizations,” said Jen Leasure, president and CEO of The Quilt. “Jim’s contributions to The Quilt over many years have been invaluable and so are his contributions to the broader R&E networking community.”

Stewart has more than 40 years of experience working in the technology profession and has been working the past 22 years to support technology for all higher education, public schools, and health care organizations in the State of Utah. He also has served on The Quilt Board of Directors for more than two decades.

“Jim embodies the spirit of this award,” commented David C. Marble, president and CEO of OSHEAN in Rhode Island and member of The Quilt Board of Directors. “He has been selfless in his constant availability to help with so many activities, engaging with expertise, support resources and a wonderful sense of humor.”

This award was first introduced last year with technology pioneer Marla Meehl as the inaugural recipient.

“I was incredibly honored and feel privileged to be the inaugural awardee for The Dave Reese Distinguished Service Award,” said Meehl. “Dave was such a wonderful friend, colleague and mentor for me. It is very meaningful to me that Jim Stewart is being awarded this year, since Jim is also my great friend, colleague and mentor, and Jim is such an influential, passionate, and committed leader in our community.”

Stewart received this recognition at the virtual Quilt 2022 Winter Member Meeting this week (March 8-10).


About The Quilt
The Quilt is the national coalition of advanced regional networks for research and education, representing 38 networks across the country. Participants in The Quilt provide advanced network services and applications to more than 900 universities and tens of thousands of other educational institutions throughout the United States. Visit and follow at Twitter @TweetTheQuilt.

OARnet Among the ‘First to 400G’ on Internet2’s Network: Q&A with Pankaj Shah March 03, 2022

Internet2 recently unveiled its fifth-generation backbone, known as the Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI). NGI interconnects with 37 state and regional networks and serves every state in the U.S. Among these 37 are the first five to upgrade to 400 gigabits per second connectivity: Florida LambdaRail, Indiana GigaPOP, Mid-Atlantic Crossroads, Ohio Academic Resources Network, and Utah Education and Telehealth Network. In this “First to 400G” blog series, we spotlight each of these networks and how NGI’s new capabilities and capacity meet the needs of the broader research and education communities.

Pankaj Shah is the executive director of the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet). In this Q&A, Pankaj discusses OARnet’s mission in support of the state’s higher education institutions and their partners, the opportunities and challenges driving OARnet constituents’ connectivity needs, and what’s next on the horizon.

Tell us more about OARnet. What is your organization’s mission? What is the scope of the communities and institutions you serve – in other words, who depends on your infrastructure and how do they use it?

Pankaj Shah: The Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), part of the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s OH-TECH consortium, strives to ensure Ohio’s role as a technology leader by implementing next-generation technologies in our network to meet the needs of research, education, government, libraries, and health care communities. By teaming with our communities to develop technology solutions designed to address the demands of an ever-changing environment for the delivery of services, OARnet facilitates innovation as a competitive edge in Ohio’s economic development and prominence as a leader in research and development.

OARnet partners with two state-led initiatives, InnovateOhio and BroadbandOhio, which seek to resolve the digital divide in Ohio by addressing issues of accessibility, affordability, and ease of technology adoption. From small towns to major metropolitan areas in Ohio, we are working to expand the middle mile of the broadband network to reach more communities and also drive down the cost of the last mile of service.

These initiatives are built on public/private partnerships that are critical for their success. A broadband expansion project in the city of East Cleveland, for example, relies on robust collaboration between private entities such as Microsoft and GE Lighting, public entities such as OARnet, Cuyahoga County, Connect-ITC, and the East Cleveland City Schools, and non-profits like PCs for People, just to name a few. [Read full interview at Internet2 | News]

Article author: Amber Rasche, Senior Communications Specialist, Internet2

Fairleigh Dickinson University Upgrades Connection to the Edge Optical Fiber Network February 22, 2022

Newark, NJ, February 22, 2022 – A longtime Edge member, Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU), recently upgraded their connection to the Edge optical fiber network, EdgeNet, from 2x 10 Gbps to 2x 100 Gbps—making them the first institution in New Jersey to connect to EdgeNet at this advanced speed.

With a greater number of students looking to connect multiple devices and video streaming and gaming systems to the network, FDU set out to refresh their technology and create a proactive strategy that would help address future needs. “We wanted to enable our students and staff to use technology, collaborate with other universities, and utilize other external services at higher data rates,” explains Michael Reekie, Director of Networking, FDU. “We also wished to alleviate any of the bottlenecks in our current environment that could potentially slow down the user experience. Along with updating our core, we also upgraded our wireless and Internet edge to meet the upcoming demands of the new wireless capabilities.”

FDU explored different solutions to help manage traffic, including traffic shapers that are installed at the Internet edge. However, as bandwidth increases, the cost and maintenance of these devices can be expensive. “We found that increasing our bandwidth and installing faster Internet edge routers and firewalls would be a more cost-effective investment and could provide a better user experience for our students and faculty,” says Reekie. “Making the jump from 2x 10 Gbps to 2x 100 Gbps will help us meet our bandwidth requirements over the next several years and with Edge as an existing partner, it was a very easy transition to upgrade our existing connections, while still allowing a highly available networking experience. Edge was able to provide bandwidth to us at a better cost and value than installing technologies that would shape the use of Internet traffic.” [Read the full press release at Edge | News]