Internet2 Survey Results Highlight K20 Adoption of Advanced NetworkingCapabilities
Survey Also Points To Bottlenecks in Local Network Infrastructure
More than 25,000 K-12 schools, libraries, and museums in 34 states have access to an Internet2 backbone network based on the results of a bi-annual survey announced today at the FCCâ€™s Symposium: _Unleashing_the_Educational_Power_of_Broadband_. The survey conducted by Internet2 to assess the adoption of high-performance connectivity among educational institutions across the U.S., highlights the rapid work of Internet2 members and the broader education community to take advantage a program by which Internet2 university members provide state educations networks sponsored access to the Internet2 Abilene network, an advanced nationwide backbone.
“Internet2 has been working diligently with the state education networks across the country to bring next generation Internet capabilities to the K20 community. In just over three years, since the initiative’s inception, an amazing number of schools, libraries, community colleges, and museums have now connected to the Internet2 Abilene Network,” said Dr. Louis Fox, executive director, Internet2 K20 Initiative and vice provost, University of Washington. “Through this program, we have begun to enable participants to leverage the latest in networking technology to collaborate, share experiences and learn from one another in real-time.”
Access to high-performance networking provides teachers and students capabilities not available on today’s commercial Internet. Students receive live real-time demonstrations of underwater exploration using IP multicast, take master music classes from world-renowned instructors with high-bandwidth video conferencing, or dissect a biology specimen 1000 miles away with remote imaging instruments available over low-latency networking.
However, even as more and more of the K20 community gains access to these advanced networking resources, bandwidth bottlenecks still exist at various locations between the state education networks and the individual institutions they connect. The survey revealed that while 84% of the connected K20 facilities could potentially access the network at over 155 megabits per second (Mbps), the vast majority report connections of less than 10 Mbps.
“Undoubtedly, advanced networking applications aid educators in creating a rich, interactive learning environment for students of all ages. However, without adequate local connections to the network, the benefits of advanced networking will largely be unrealized for the majority of individual organizations,” said Fox. “The choke points are no longer on the national backbone, nor are they at the state networking level–they are most often at the local education loop or individual institution. By investing in an upgraded local infrastructure, schools, colleges, museums, and libraries can begin to take full advantage of the myriad resources already in place and available to them.”
Dr. Fox presented the survey findings during a panel discussion at the FCC symposium.
Details of the survey can be found at:
About the Sponsored Educational Group Participant (SEGP) Program
The SEGP program is intended to allow expanded access to the Internet2 Abilene network for state and regional education networks, through sponsorship by Internet2 university members. State and regional networks may include nonprofit and for-profit K-20 educational institutions, museums, libraries, art galleries, or hospitals that require routine collaboration on instructional, clinical and/or research projects, services and content with Internet2 members or with other sponsored participants. The program began in early 2001 and has since connected 34 state K-12/K-20 networks.
Led by more than 200 U.S. universities, working with industry and government, Internet2 develops and deploys advanced network applications and technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the creation of tomorrow’s Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnerships among academia, industry, and government that helped foster today’s Internet in its infancy. For more information about Internet2, visit: http://www.internet2.edu/.