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­niversities Angle For Billions to Build Obama's New Broadband Network

By The Chronicle of Higher Education

April 30, 2009



Several higher-education information technology groups are working to influence the U.S. broadband strategy and help steer the distribution of $4.7 billion in Internet access stimulus funding.

For example, Internet2, a high-speed networking consortium that has more than 200 universities among its members, has released "Unleashing Waves of Innovation: Transformative Broadband for America's Future," a white paper that was filed with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Internet2's Gary R. Bachula proposes that universities receive roughly $1 billion of the stimulus funding to improve their network infrastructure and form partnerships to bring broadband into surrounding communities. Bachula says the funding would help universities engage in new scientific experiments that require the massive international movement of data, distribute knowledge in new ways through distance education, and make medical care more available in rural areas through video. He says achieving this objective would lead to innovation that is good for the economy, with students and faculty members achieving innovation through a superpowered Internet.

Much of the rest of the stimulus money would flow through the states, Bachula says. He says states could use university-led local networks to connect public facilities such as schools, hospitals, police stations, and community centers. Education and research networks have already established some of these connections, Bachula notes.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA

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