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High-Capacity Bandwidth Provided for Research Institutions

Fiber optic cable (Pacific Northwest National Lab)

(Pacific Northwest National Lab)

The networking company Level 3 Inc. in Broomfield, Colorado will provide high-bandwidth fiber optic network capacity for the Internet2 consortium’s network supporting research and educational institutions. Internet2, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is an advanced networking consortium of 200 U.S. universities as well as corporations, government agencies, national labs, and other regional and local institutions.

Under the agreement, Internet2 will get access to Level 3’s fiber-optic network and management support for Internet2’s new optical system and Ethernet network. Internet2 plans to use more than 10,000 miles of fiber in Level 3’s inventory with the option to add additional miles in the next three years as needed.

Level 3 will install Internet2’s 8.8 Terabit optical equipment (1 Terabit = 1,000 Gigabits) and provide monitoring and field support to these facilities. Facilities and power for the network will also be provided by Level 3.

The Internet2 consortium’s network is designed to support more than 200,000 community institutions in the U.S., including schools, libraries, community colleges, universities, health centers, hospitals, and public safety organizations.

The new capacity is expected to make possible more high-bandwidth collaborative networking applications, such as telemedicine, distance learning, and research in in fields such as high energy physics, climate research, and radio astronomy. These advanced applications are normally not possible with consumer-grade Internet services.

The new network is funded in part by a federal Recovery Act (stimulus) grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.

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