OARnet: Last Mile Enhancement Program brings tenfold increase in broadband speed to 40 Ohio colleges and universities December 21, 2020

Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) Chancellor Randy Gardner and OARnet have announced the $12.1 million Last Mile Enhancement Program to increase broadband speeds by 1,000% at 40 Ohio colleges and universities.

The award will also enable all 87 OARnet-connected colleges and universities to double their internet subscriptions for two years beginning Jan. 1, 2021. The added capacity will enable more bandwidth-intensive applications and better facilitate remote instruction.

Supported by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, the program enables OARnet to work with commercial “last mile” providers to upgrade connections to its ultra-fast 5,500-mile fiber optic backbone at each of the 40 institutions.

“COVID-19 accelerated a pre-existing trend in the expansion of remote and hybrid learning,” Chancellor Gardner said. “The Last Mile Enhancement Program enables Ohio’s faculty and instructors to continue delivering high quality academic experiences in this new environment.”

The 40 institutions include community, technical and four-year colleges and universities, both public and private, whose networks experienced unprecedented demand after the sudden shift to remote and hybrid learning models because of COVID-19. Their connections to OARnet will increase from one Gigabit per second (Gbps) or less to 10 Gbps, an improvement that could, for instance, shorten a transfer of one terabyte of data from 160 minutes to 16. It could also dramatically increase the number and quality of simultaneous student video connections to a remote classroom platform. [Read the full announcement at OARnet | Press Releases]

WINS: SC21 Call for Participation, Deadline 1/15/2021 December 09, 2020

The Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program is now accepting applications for the 2021 program. Since 2015, the WINS program has provided an immersive “hands-on” mentorship opportunity for early- to mid-career women in the IT field who are selected to participate in the ground-up construction of SCinet, one of the fastest and most advanced computer networks in the world, built annually for the Supercomputing Conference (SC) to be held in St. Louis, MO in 2021.

The program collaborates with SCinet committee leadership to match each awardee with a SCinet team and a mentor; offers travel funding for awardees; and provides ongoing support and career development opportunities for the awardees before, during, and after the conference.

Interested and qualified women are encouraged to apply. WINS strives to have diverse representation of organizations and applicant backgrounds in the cohort each year. In order to further broaden the diversity within the WINS program itself, preference this year will be given to applicants who are historically underrepresented in the Information Technology field, including Black or African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latinx.

The application deadline is January 15, 2021 at 11:59pm AoE. To apply:

WINS is a joint effort between the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and works collaboratively with the SC program committee.

Announcement courtesy of: 
Marla Meehl
Section Head: Network Engineering and Telecommunications Section (NETS)
Manager: Front Range GigaPoP (FRGP)
PI: Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS)
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)


CENIC Announces New and Diverse Fiber Route from Sacramento to Northern California December 01, 2020

La Mirada, CA, and Berkeley, CA, Dec. 1, 2020 — CENIC has built a new and diverse fiber path between Sacramento and northern California, adding to its inland route. The new path creates a diverse 260-mile regional loop from Sacramento and back, traveling through Colusa, Corning, Palo Cedro, and Chico. The path has 3.2 terabits of spectrum capacity and includes new nodes in Chico and Palo Cedro.

CENIC’s California Research and Education Network (CalREN) serves the vast majority of K-20 students, educators, researchers, and individuals at other vital public-serving institutions. CalREN operates over 8,000 miles of fiber optic cable and serves more than 20 million users.

“This new and diverse path demonstrates our commitment to provide reliable, high-capacity, low-latency network connectivity to our members in northern California,” said CENIC President and CEO Louis Fox. “Upgrading our core backbone network infrastructure provides CENIC’s members with a more robust and efficient network on which to conduct data-intensive research, support teaching and learning, provide cutting-edge medical care, and enhance community engagement.”

Adding network diversity ensures that there are alternative paths available for network traffic in the event of a disaster or technical failure, preventing any disruption of system operation and maintaining continuity of service. This new route also increases backbone capacity at Corning to 100G and opens up potential aggregation sites for local networks to connect to CalREN. [Read the full article at CENIC | NEWS]