Tag Archives: merit

R&E networks could help better identify national broadband gaps

Consumer sourcing and leveraging R&E networks to become Collaborative Networked Organizations, or CNOs, to manage the collection of broadband availability data could improve the quality and accuracy of the information, according to comments submitted to the NTIA this summer.

NTIA, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce, requested comments on actions to improve broadband availability data, particularly in rural areas, as part of the national activities directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. Comments were due on July 16, 2018.

In total, 52 individuals and organizations submitted official comments this summer. The Quilt had the pleasure to work our member Merit, Michigan’s R&E network, and the Quello Center at Michigan State University, to craft a joint comment on how to enhance indicators of broadband access.

Much of America has enjoyed the benefits of broadband for years, but there are still areas of the country that don’t have the level of connectivity needed to keep up with modern society. According to the FCC, more than 30 percent of rural Americans currently live in areas that lack availability of broadband, which since early 2015 has been defined by the FCC as 25 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up.

Through this request, the NTIA seeks input from a broad range of stakeholders on ways to improve the nation’s ability to analyze broadband availability, with the intention of identifying gaps in broadband availability that can be used to improve policymaking and inform public investments.

In May, David J. Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator, said the NTIA knows these gaps exist, but what isn’t known is precisely which areas of the country have insufficient broadband capacity. Added Redl, “that makes it difficult to ensure that public investments in infrastructure are efficient and effective.”

According to Bill Dutton, Director of the Quello Center, the comments provided on behalf of Merit and Quello offer an innovative approach to consumer sourcing of broadband availability data that builds off the FCC’s initiatives with crowd sourcing. It also leverages the strategic advantages of Merit, and the possibility of extending to other R&E networks that are members and affiliates of The Quilt.

“If successful, this approach has the potential to be scaled nationally,” Dutton explained in his blog. “The comment provides an overview of current approaches, the potential of consumer-sourced data, and an outline of their approach.”

Quilt members to host amazing May events

There are some awesome networking events by Quilt members happening all over the country this month. We’ve highlighted three upcoming events in May that may be of interest.

MCRCon 2014 and 2014 Merit Member Conference (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

MeritMemberMeeting2014The 2014 Merit Member Conference (MMC) on May 21-22 will be at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest.

The MMC is a community gathering on the state of the art in IT for organizations, with a focus both on technology and on the many related policy, financial and social considerations of providing information services. Featured speakers include John C. Dvorak, Technology Author, Columnist and Broadcaster; Johannes M. Bauer, Professor, Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media, Michigan State University; and J. Alex Halderman, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan.

View the agenda and/or register to attend.

Prior to the Merit Member Conference, MCRCon 2014 will be on May 20. MCRCon is a cybersecurity conference hosted by the Michigan Cyber Range, which also will be held at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest.

2014 CEN Annual Member Conference (Hartford, Connecticut)


Last year CEN delivered its first annual conference for its members. Almost 300 participants came out to network with their peers, learn about the future of CEN, and technology trends in schools and libraries. The 2014 CEN Annual Member Conference is expected to be bigger and better on Thursday, May 22, at the Connecticut Convention Center.

Susannah Spellman, Executive Director of U.S. & Canada, Internet 2, will be this year’s keynote speaker.

Registration for this year’s event is open.

Great Plains Network 2014 Annual Meeting (Kansas City, Missouri)


The Annual Meeting of the Great Plains Network and Greater Western Library Alliance brings together knowledge and IT professionals including advanced network and cyberinfrastructure users, faculty members, researchers, librarians, information technology staff, and graduate students from leading universities and higher education networks.

This year’s theme is Surviving the Data Deluge: Computation, Storage, Networks and People with highlights including a new venue at The InterContinental Hotel in Kansas City Plaza; Big Data Summit II – Data: The Heart of Scholarship; the Opening Exhibitor Preview; Gala Poolside Reception; and the expansion of “no-conflict time” with exhibitors.

The full schedule is now available. Click here for more information and to register.