The Internet2 is moving into more complex services than supplying big dumb pipes to universities. Today they announced an agreement with both internet backbone operator Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) and Ontario-based communications provider Aastra to provide managed voice services to universities nationwide.
Yes, the Internet2 is going for cloud communications, this is the sort of hosted VoIP PBX plus SIP trunking service that has always seemed to make so much sense for a campus environment. Presumabley, Aastra is providing the hosted PBX platform and Level 3 is providing the SIP trunks, which of course travel over the fiber they also supply to Internet2.
The first adopters will include Texas A&M and Tulane University, with more than 65,000 students, faculty, and staff between them - not a minor deployment if they go all the way. I wonder if there are any other cloud-based applications that Internet2 might add to this concept. Surely those 100G pipes have enough room, eh?