Regional Network Futures Report

Regional Network Futures Report

Advanced Regional Networks (ARNs) play a unique and vital role in America’s broadband future, according to a report published October 31, the outcome of a two-day workshop on “Envisioning the Future of Advanced Regional and State Networks.” Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and hosted by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, the workshop was attended by over 30 experts in the development and operation of ARNs as well leaders from the national research and education (R&E) networking community and industry.

“Over the past 25 years,” according to the report, “ARNs have played a critical role in the deployment of the Internet within the United States and the development of the global Internet itself. . . Today ARNs are expanding to serve entirely new sets of organizations, but are finding that they must adapt to do so. In fact, we are now at an inflection point unlike any other in the forty-year history of R&E networking, with ARNs facing an intersection of increasing opportunities and rising challenges. To realize their full potential, ARNs must reach a common vision for their future development, fundamentally reevaluating core issues such as funding, form, and function.”

For ARNs to realize their full potential as innovation platforms, the report makes a number of recommendations to the ARN community:

  • Broaden the collaboration among ARNs to provide coherence for users
  • Develop sustainable and coordinated funding models
  • Strengthen the partnership and alignment between ARNs and national organizations
  • Expand the leadership and coordination roles of the National Science Foundation
  • Increase collaboration on new and advanced services
  • Join forces to inform policy makers at the state, regional, and national levels

For full report, please visit: