Academic research networking consortium Internet 2 and Level 3 Communications have signed a multi-year agreement to build a national network with an “unprecedented” 8.8 terabytes of throughput capacity, the partners announced.

Funded in part via a federal broadband stimulus grant through the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), the network is being designed to support more than 200,000 community anchor institutions across the country, including K-12 schools, libraries, community colleges, health centers, hospitals and public safety organizations. The Internet2 network partners will be coordinating and working through the US Unified Community Anchor Network, the U.S. UCAN project, to connect to the anchor institutions.

To build the network, Internet2 will have rights to fiber strands on Level 3’s fiber optic network and network management support to build out the 8.8 Terabit Optical System and 100 Gigabit Ethernet Network. Internet2 will make use of more than 10,000 miles of Level 3’s fiber network footprint and the ability to make use of additional miles for the next three years as needed. Level 3 will be installing Internet2’s 8.8 Terabit optical networking equipment and provide 24/7 monitoring and field support. Level 3 will also provide co-location facilities and power.

“Today’s announcement with Level 3 represents another major milestone in helping to fulfill the promise of Internet2’s BTOP grant by providing the critical underlying infrastructure needed to support community anchor institutions nationwide,” said Rob Vietzke, Internet2 executive director of Network Services.

See more coverage of Internet2 and UCAN here.




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