Sunday, July 11, 2010

Funds to Connect Networks

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced awards of more than $62.5 million in federal stimulus funding through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) with additional matching funds for $34.3 million from proposal partners and suppliers.

This grant funding is going to help interconnect more than 30 existing research and educational networks also known as Internet2 that spans 50 states to create a nation-wide high-capacity network. The U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) will enable advanced networking features to be available for more than 100,000 essential community anchor institutions.

U.S. UCAN will ensure that life-changing applications such as telemedicine and distance learning are available to all community anchor institutions including those in areas previously considered too remote or economically depressed to support advanced network services.

U.S. UCAN provides a jumpstart in implementing the FCC National Broadband Plan released in March 2010 which recommends the development of a unified network dedicated to community anchor institutions to build on the investment that the research and the education community have already made in national network infrastructure.

Doug Van Houweling, Internet2 President and CEO said, “This award provides an unprecedented opportunity to pioneer advanced research and education networking capabilities and to pass these capabilities to the public where they can introduce new possibilities into everyday life. We are honored to be part of this visionary effort, and look forward to rolling up our sleeves alongside both familiar and new partners to bring life-changing internet uses to learning, medicine, job creation, and public safety.”