Internet2 and Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) announced more details about the next phase of the national educational network. The new multi-year agreement will crate a new 8.8Tbps national backbone that will support 200,000 anchor institutions nationwide. It's part of the Unified Community Anchor Network, or UCAN, network funded with a piece of all that BTOP stimulus money, of course.
As part of the deal, Internet2 fiber IRUs from Level 3 to the extent of 10,000+ miles initially, with additional miles over the next three years. Level 3 will also install the gear as well as provide little details like power, colo, monitoring and field support. None of this will be particularly new to Level 3, which has been a similar part of the existing Internet2 network for many years. We already know what 100G optical gear will be powering this - as last month we learned Ciena had won that piece of UCAN.
But they aren't going to be waiting around, the construction is starting immediately with the first coast-coast segments to be delivered by mid-summer. Soon thereafter, we get to find out just what all those K-12 schools, libraries, community colleges, health centers, hospitals and public safety organizations can do with 8.8Tbps. Nobody's quite sure just yet what that will be, but I'm sure it will be news when the time comes.
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