Tag Archives: technology

NTIA seeks input on new Community Connectivity Initiative

The National Telecommunications and Information Initiative (NTIA) will be hosting a nine-part webinar series in an effort to grow the Community Connectivity Initiative.

The webinars, taking place on the second Thursday of each month starting in July through March 2017, will support accelerated broadband access, improve digital inclusion, strengthen policies and support local priorities. These hands-on and interactive sessions will allow stakeholders the chance to have a say in the future growth of the initiative while identifying tools that could benefit communities in the present and future.

The planned discussion topics are as follows:

  • July 14: Initiative update and framework and assessment design discussion
  • Aug. 11: Initiative update and discussion of the report and recommended output
  • Sept. 8: Initiative update and recommendations discussion
  • Oct. 13: Initiative update and discussion on user support requirements
  • Nov. 10: Initiative update and evaluation discussion
  • Dec. 8: Initiative update and discussion of training requirements
  • Jan. 12: Initiative update and discussion of roll-out timeline
  • Feb. 9: Initiative update and communication discussion
  • March 9: Initiative update and next steps discussion

Admission is open to the public, although it is requested that participants pre-register for each webinar. Questions during the webinar may be sent to BroadbandUSA@ntia.doc.gov.  For more information about the webinars, how to register and the webinar topics, visit the Federal Registrar.

Additionally, NTIA has invited several thought leaders to Washington D.C. for a two-day design workshop to help complete the next level of detailed design for the Community Connectivity Framework, Online Assessment Tool, and Reports.

This event is invitation only and is scheduled for June 28-29.

The NTIA’s BroadbandUSA team is developing new tools to support communities working to accelerate broadband deployment, deepen broadband adoption, strengthen local policies, and use broadband to advance local priorities. The Community Connectivity Initiative design is based on the best practices and best thinking of leading practitioners in communities throughout the country. The program structure encourages continuous improvement, inviting community leaders to take stock of their current broadband assets, access, and applications, identify opportunities and next steps, and re-assess later. The goal is to support more communities as they develop local plans to increase access, adoption and use and to use common measures rooted in local practice to create a foundation for further investments in broadband.

For more about the initiative, visit http://www2.ntia.doc.gov/CCI

Workshop reports available for Looking Beyond the Internet

Workshop reports for three “Looking Beyond the Internet” workshops that took place a month ago are now available.

  • Applications and Services in the Year 2021
  • Future Wireless Cities
  • Software Defined Infrastructure / Software Defined Exchanges

All three workshops and their reports are here.

The “Looking Beyond the Internet” effort is intended to discuss new research opportunities in the broad areas of future wireless, networks and clouds. The goal is to engage the research community to identify potentially transformative network architectures, enabling technologies and applications in three broad categories: software-defined infrastructure, community-scale wireless networks and future applications and services.

Special thanks to Suman Bannerjee, Prasad Calyam, Nick Feamster, Ray Raychaudhuri, Glenn Ricart, and Rob Ricci for organizing and running these workshops, and for quickly writing up three great reports.

For more information about this effort, visit this webpage.

Spotlight: Examine new Broadband Opportunity Council Report at FMM15

We’re getting excited for our 2015 Fall Member Meeting is next week.

At the invitation of Quilt member LEARN (Lonestar Education and Research Network), The Quilt will be holding its Fall Member Meeting on Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin, Texas. This year’s Fall Member Meeting also coincides with the National Science Foundation Campus Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop and the ESnet Site Coordinators Committee (ESCC).

This will be one Texas-sized meeting with the best networking minds in the country gathered all in one place for some exciting discussions on how R&E networks are uniquely positioned to meet today’s infrastructure challenges.

Over the last couple of weeks we have previewed some items on the agenda.  Please see previous posts including features on Pacific Research Platform and the Science DMZ and Campus Cyberinfrastructure in Texas as well as Regional Networks & Support for Research, OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure.

Today’s post highlights two engaging discussion on Thursday.

LauraSpiningLaura Spining of the NTIA will present Thursday morning on the new Broadband Opportunity Council Report, which describes steps that 25 federal agencies will take over the next 18 months to eliminate barriers and promote broadband investment and adoption.

Over the past six years, the United States has expanded broadband access, bringing millions of people online and creating significant new economic, educational and social opportunities. Investments from the federal government have helped deploy or upgrade more than 110,000 miles of network infrastructure, and more than 45 million additional Americans have adopted broadband Internet. And as a country we’ve made high-speed wireless coverage available to 98 percent of Americans.

The council made four broad recommendations in the report:

  1. Modernize Federal programs to expand program support for broadband investments.
  2. Empower communities with tools and resources to attract broadband investment and promote meaningful use.
  3. Promote increased broadband deployment and competition through expanded access to Federal assets.
  4. Improve data collection, analysis and research on broadband.

Laura Spining also will moderate a Quilt Member Panel Discussion on Regional Networks and Community Broadband – What is the Next Frontier? This panel will focus on the regional networks’ roles in working with communities and municipalities to increase the availability of broadband; strategies for convening and connecting community area networks; and the role of regional networking organizations in local and state economic development efforts.

The panel includes Jean Davis of MCNC, John Gillispie of MOREnet, Scott Taylor of CEN and Jack Smith of WVNET.

Thanks again to LEARN for hosting this year’s meeting.

You can follow the conversation throughout the meeting using #FMM15 or @TweettheQuilt.

We look forward to seeing you Austin!

Regional Networks & Support for Research, OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure highlights Quilt Fall Member Meeting

Our 2015 Fall Member Meeting is next week, and we have an extraordinary line-up of speakers and special guests scheduled to participate.

At the invitation of Quilt member LEARN (Lonestar Education and Research Network), The Quilt will be holding its Fall Member Meeting on Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin, Texas. This year’s Fall Member Meeting also coincides with the National Science Foundation Campus Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop and the ESnet Site Coordinators Committee (ESCC).

This will be one Texas-sized meeting with the best networking minds in the country gathered all in one place for some exciting discussions on how R&E networks are uniquely positioned to meet today’s infrastructure challenges.

Over the last couple of weeks we have previewed some items on the agenda.  Please see previous posts including features on Pacific Research Platform and the Science DMZ and Campus Cyberinfrastructure in Texas.

Today’s post highlights two engaging discussions on Wednesday afternoon.

First, will be a presentation on Regional Networks and Support for Research.  In this discussion we will feature an overview of The Quilt’s 2015 goals and activities in this area, explore The Quilt’s Regional Collaboration Projects Working Group, the Regional Role in National Computation Infrastructure Workshop, and Regional Networks and NSF Big Data Innovation Hub Program. Presenters include Quilt President and CEO Jen Leasure, KINBER President and CEO Wendy Huntoon, and Greg Monaco, Director for Research & Cyberinfrastructure Initiatives for the Great Plains Network.

Immediately following this discussion will be a special presentation on the OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure Initiative.

Henry Neeman of the University of Oklahoma will talk about this initiative and how it is designed to deliver improved network reliability, robustness, availability and bandwidth to Oklahoma’s researchers (and probably some fun meteorology aspects as well).  Funded by a National Science Foundation grant, the Oklahoma Optical Initiative benefits the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, OneNet (Oklahoma’s education, research and government network), the University of Tulsa, Langston University, the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and a variety of other institutions across the state.

The OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure Initiative has already reached a total of 97 institutions and organizations: 50 academic and 47 non-academic.

Finally, the first day’s activities will close with our Member Meeting Event with Bat Cruise and Dinner.

Thanks again to LEARN for hosting this year’s meeting.

You can follow the conversation now and during the meeting using #FMM15 or @TweettheQuilt.

We look forward to seeing you Austin!

Spring has sprung for Quilt member events

Several of our Quilt members will be hosting networking events for their member communities across the country this spring, and we’ve highlighted a few that may be of interest. If you know of others or have an upcoming spring event that you want to share, please contact us.

2015 KINBER Annual Conference | April 15-16 (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)


Hundreds of Pennsylvania’s leaders in education, health care, economic development, libraries, public media and technology will share ideas and success stories about using next generation networks at the 2015 KINBER Annual Conference on April 15-16 at the Hilton Harrisburg. The event will host dozens of panels and speaker-led workshops as well as keynote speakers and professional development opportunities.

View the conference schedule here. Registration is now open.

BCNET Annual Conference | April 27-29 (Vancouver, British Columbia)


The BCNET Annual Conference on April 27-29 in Vancouver is the leading opportunity to network with more than 600 higher education IT, network, enterprise systems, and education technology professionals. Learn and share ideas on insights, experiences, strategies, real-life solutions and more. The program is derived from their higher education IT member community and is hosted by Quilt Member BCNET, a not-for-profit shared information technology services organization serving British Columbia’s higher education and research institutions.

View the agenda and/or register to attend.

WiscNet Future Technologies Conference | May 11-12 (Madison, Wisconsin)


The WiscNet Future Technologies Conference on May 11-12 is an annual gathering of the WiscNet membership held at the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin. Each year, several thought-provoking keynote speakers participate in addition to several breakout sessions featuring the great things going on across the membership.

WiscNet has 24 great sessions lined up for 2015. Registration currently is open.

2015 Merit Member Conference (MMC) | May 13-14 (Ann Arbor, Michigan)


The 2015 Merit Member Conference (MMC) is set for May 13-14 at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest in Michigan. 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. Registration for the Merit Member Conference is open only to Merit Members, potential Members from higher education, K-12, libraries, government, health care and non-profits, and event sponsors. Merit Members who register for the full conference have the limited-time opportunity to register a colleague to attend the conference at no extra charge.

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

3rd Annual CEN Member Conference | May 15 (Hartford, Connecticut)


2015 marks the 3rd Annual Member Conference hosted by the Connecticut Education Network (CEN). More than 350 participants came out last year to network with their peers and to learn about the future of CEN and technology trends. CEN anticipates a wide range of participants drawn from educators (K-12 and higher ed), municipalities, libraries, local businesses and State of Connecticut agencies. This conference will draw together key stakeholders in the high-speed, fiber optical network from both hardware and end user perspectives.

Online registration is now open.

I-Light / Indiana GigaPOP Members Meeting | June 11-12 (Bloomington, Indiana)


I-Light continues to make an impact in communities across Indiana every day with many great stories to be heard from throughout their community. That is what the I-Light and Indiana GigaPOP Members Meeting is for on June 11-12 inside Wrubel Commons, Cyberinfrastructure Building at IU Bloomington,

Registration and other details coming soon. In the meantime, check out last year’s archive.

2015 OSHEAN Member Forum | June 12 (New England Institute of Technology)


OSHEAN’s Annual Member Forum is scheduled for Friday, June 12, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New England Institute of Technology, East Greenwich campus. The program agenda for this year’s event is still being finalized … more details to come. To register, click here.

Networking leaders connect at Quilt Winter Meeting

Some of the country’s best in networking met last week to discuss advancements in research and education networks at The Quilt 2015 Winter Member Meeting in California.

The Quilt, a national coalition of advanced regional networks for research and education representing nearly 40 networks across the country, hosted the event with almost 100 participants from Quilt member organizations, affiliates and guests from throughout the country and world.


Representatives from the federal level also joined and included the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The formal event got underway with an informative briefing/overview of CC*IIE Regional Collaboration Awards featuring KINBER, OARnet, GPN, and FRGP. Kevin Thompson of the National Science Foundation provided an update from the NSF Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure.


Experts in cybersecurity from UEN, GPN, CENIC, Merit Network and MCNC organized a panel discussion to share insights into how their organizations are preparing for and responding to direct network attacks as well as attacks on member institutions.

And, finally, Jason Zurawski of ESnet gave a great presentation on understanding big data trends and the key role of regional networks in bridging needs and solutions. He added, “It’s not just infrastructure anymore, it’s an instrument.”

One of the more dynamic discussions featured a panel of representatives from the FCC who provided an overview of some of the commission’s broadband programs and opportunities available for research and education networks.

The Quilt President and CEO Jen Leasure said the organization’s bi-annual member meetings are designed to inform members on interesting topics for regional networks as well as provide a forum for members to leverage each other’s knowledge and expertise to collectively advance networking for research and education throughout the country.

“We saw excellent engagement among our members and our community partners at this year’s winter meeting,” she said.


Of course there was plenty of time to network as well as attend a number of member briefings and breakout sessions on topics such as advanced networking, network security, R&E networking community building and much more.


FCC chairman proposes $1.5 billion cap to boost E-Rate

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing a more direct way to boost funding to E-Rate.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Wednesday that he wants a 62 percent, or $1.5 billion, increase on the cap that the agency can spend to bring Internet to schools (from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion).

The White House called the FCC proposal to raise the E-Rate cap an “essential step” in the ConnectED initiative.

There’s a cost to the FCC’s proposal, of course; consumers and businesses could pay up to an additional 16 cents per phone line per month as part of the Universal Service Fund fee on their phone bills. That cost currently is a monthly fee of 99 cents for each phone line.

In June 2013, President Barack Obama made a trip to North Carolina to formally announce ConnectED, which included calling on the FCC to spur high-speed connectivity to schools.

“Since that time, the FCC has taken steps to modernize the E-Rate program to support high-speed connectivity for America’s schools and libraries,” a White House spokesperson said this week, citing the FCC’s action in February of this year to begin the expansion a “$2 billion down payment on the President’s ConnectED goals.

The FCC adopted an order in July to make the program more efficient and transparent so that schools get the most “bang for their E-Rate buck.” At the same time, the FCC also is moving to close the Wi-Fi gap by targeting $1 billion annually to expand Wi-Fi connections in all the nation’s schools and libraries to support modern digital learning.

The Quilt submitted ex-parte comments last week and followed up with in-person meetings with FCC Commissioners and staff to discuss further action. Among the items in our submitted comments, we were pleased with several of the changes made in the July E-Rate Modernization Order, especially the decisions to make more funding available for internal connections (Wi-Fi equipment) and to promote consortia.

The Quilt has long pointed out that it is inefficient and ineffective to bring high-capacity broadband to the building if there is insufficient capacity within the classroom or library building. Now that the FCC has given greater priority to making funding available for Category 2 equipment inside the building, it is proper for the commission to focus its next decision on how to incentivize the build-out of additional broadband capacity to the building.

According to EducationSuperHighway, 63 percent of schools lack the proper Internet infrastructure to support digital learning. The Wireline Competition Bureau and Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis released an E-Rate Data Update this week summarizing the information the FCC has received since the July E-Rate Modernization Order.

This fact sheet also provides a succinct description of the Internet connectivity gaps and Chairman Wheeler’s proposal to adjust the spending cap to a level that will enable long-term E-Rate connectivity targets to be met. The order the chairman circulated this week also will propose a series of targeted rule changes designed to ensure that the nation’s students and life-long learners can get the 21st century education required to keep the nation globally competitive.

A vote on the proposal is expected by the commission on Dec. 11.

Collaboration, gentle tension key to innovation for research and education networks

Leaders of state networks from Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio talked about the role of their organizations in driving innovation recently at MCNC’s annual event in North Carolina.

Representatives from these Quilt members provided great insight and thought leadership as to the importance of RENs in today’s networking environment during the panel discussion.

A general theme resonated during the discussion – collaboration is the key for RENs to prosper, but some “gentle tension” also creates an environment for us to learn from each other and continue to innovate. “If everything is smooth and easy, then we’re not pushing or innovating enough,” said panel moderator Tracy Futhey, Vice President of Information Technology & CIO at Duke University.

The panel included Wendy Huntoon, Executive Director, Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), Tim Lance, President, New York State Education and Research Network (NYSERNet), and Pankaj Shah, Executive Director, Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), who joined the conversation via video conference.

Streaming video of the entire discussion is here. (The chapter begins at the 23-minute mark).

Each state and region is different when it comes to networking and high-speed connectivity, so what works in one area of the country or region may not in another area and vice-versa. This is a great discussion on the networking ecosystem seen today for RENs and worth a quick view.

Congratulations to MCNC on another successful annual event, NCREN Community Day 2014.

SHLB Coalition logo

Hot broadband topics highlight SHLB Coalition’s conference

The Schools Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition’s (SHLB) fourth annual conference the first week in May has plenty to offer on issues affecting broadband connectivity and adoption throughout the country, and we are excited that several Quilt members will be representing the R&E community on the agenda.

The annual conference will be held on May 7-9 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. The program features several Quilt members and includes updates on E-Rate reform, ConnectED, the Healthcare Connect Fund, Connect America Fund, and several panels around digital inclusion, white spaces, and municipal broadband.

Quilt President and CEO Jen Leasure will be moderating a panel on E-Rate with the discussion focused on the benefits of capital investment in broadband connections for schools and libraries. Learn more about the presentation. Jamie Huber from Cheboygan-Otsego-Presque Isle Education School District (COPESD) in Indian Hills, Mich. (a member of the Quilt member Merit Network) is on the panel.

Other Quilt members participating include CENIC President and CEO Louis Fox, who is listed as a plenary speaker. John Gillispie from MOREnet will serve on a rural broadband panel along with Jon Chambers of the FCC and others.  MOREnet was one of 11 R&E networking organizations that submitted an expression of interest for the FCC’s rural broadband experiments under the Connect America Fund.  Finally, MCNC Chief Technology Officer Mark Johnson, Jim Stewart from Utah Education Network, and Ken Barber from KINBER will serve as panelists for a Gigabit Cities panel planned for the second day of the conference.

Several other FCC staffers, representatives of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and Obama Administration officials (Tom Power and Richard Culatta) also are scheduled to present.

This annual conference is a great place to network with Quilt members, representatives from community anchor institutions, industry, and policymakers all in one place. Visit this website to view the entire agenda and register.

The day before the SHLB conference begins, the FCC will be holding an E-Rate Modernization Workshop on May 6 in the Commission Meeting Room (TW-C305).

The E-Rate Modernization Workshop will provide an opportunity for the FCC and E-Rate stakeholders to discuss the challenge of delivering high-speed connectivity to and within schools and libraries and highlight successful strategies. Additional details concerning the workshop agenda and panelists will be forthcoming.

The workshop will be free and open to the public, and also will be streamed live here.

Early May is shaping up to be a key time to address some of the hot broadband issues that are front and center on the national networking agenda.