All Merit Member Eligible Organizations in Michigan are Now Connected to the Internet2 Network
September 3, 2009ANN ARBOR, MI - As of September 1, 2009, schools, libraries, higher education institutions, museums, and government agencies across Michigan that connect to Merit's network are now connected to the nation's high-performance network, Internet2. As part of a collaborative effort by Merit Network and Internet2, all organizations that are eligible for Sponsored Education Group Participant (SEGP) connectivity in Michigan can now use the Internet2 Network for high-bandwidth applications, innovative educational programs, and connectivity to other Internet2-connected organizations across the United States.
Since 1998, Merit Network has been a member of Internet2, joining over 300 universities, affiliate members and corporate members. The Internet2 SEGP program was established in 2001 to provide Internet2 Network access to higher education organizations, K-12 educational institutions, museums, libraries, non-profits, and hospitals connected to state and regional education networks. Merit Network—Michigan's research and education network—serves as the Internet2 Connector for the state, providing Internet2 Network connectivity to Higher Education Internet2 Members and other organizations that requested access to the national network. Through the new SEGP process, all eligible organizations in Michigan that are connected to Merit's network now receive Internet2 Network access.
"Merit is continually searching for ways to provide greater value and service to our Members," said Elwood Downing, vice president of member relations, communications and professional learning for Merit Network. "Providing Internet2 Network connectivity to all of our eligible Members will enable Michigan's schools, libraries, museums, and government agencies to offer new programs and collaborate with their peers outside of Michigan."
Over the last several years, Merit Network has grown its fiber-optic network to supply greater connectivity to its Members and provide redundancy for Internet2 Network connectivity. Merit now has 10 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) links to the Internet2 Network, one in Cleveland and one in Chicago, and Merit's core backbone network includes 10 Gbps connections in seven metropolitan areas, including Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Lansing. Over 42% of all Merit Members connect to the Merit Network backbone via fiber-optic cable.
Internet2 provides a fertile environment for organizations using high-bandwidth, low-latency applications. Educators at Western Michigan University and Michigan State University have used the Internet2 Network to teach students at distant locations using videoconferencing technology. Physicists and researchers at Michigan's research universities use the Internet2 Network for transmitting large data sets, remote instrument manipulation, and developing open-source network tools.
Innovative Internet2 Network uses are not limited to higher education. Secondary schools in the Saginaw area have been using the network for virtual field trips, scavenger hunts, and real-time learning experiences with students at other schools around the globe. Genesee-ISD, Gratiot-Isabella RESD, and Clare-Gladwin RESD have participated in "Read Around the Planet," and Ann Arbor's Hands-On Museum provides educational programs to Internet2-connected schools.
"All of our K-12 Members can now participate in Internet2-based educational programs, like Megaconference Jr. and 'Read Across the Planet,' and take virtual field trips to museums or locations around the United States," according to Jason Russell, member relations director at Merit Network. "This also opens the door to more museums in Michigan to use the Internet2 Network as a way to showcase their collections and educate visitors around the globe."
For Merit Member organizations, Internet2 traffic is considered part of Merit Network's On-Net Service, which lowers the cost significantly for connectivity to other Internet2 member organizations or to other organizations connected to Merit's network. Merit Members that are connected to the Internet2 Network can view their Internet2 and total network utilization graph in real-time via Merit's Member Portal as well as their total On-Net and Off-Net network utilization graphs. A full list of connected organizations is available on Merit's web site.
By enabling Internet2 Network access to all eligible SEGP organizations, Merit is providing a valuable resource to schools, libraries, higher education institutions, museums, and government agencies in Michigan, opening the door to new educational opportunities and collaboration initiatives with similar organizations across the nation. Merit encourages all Merit Member Organizations to view the Internet2 K20 Initiative's Muse social networking portal and become active participants in projects across the globe, as well as sharing projects and seeking collaborators within the Internet2 K20 community.
About MeritMerit Network Inc., a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan's public universities, owns and operates America's longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan's public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking solutions to Michigan's public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.
For more information: www.merit.edu
About Internet2Internet2 is the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium. Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 promotes the missions of its members by providing both leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. Internet2 brings the U.S. research and academic community together with technology leaders from industry, government and the international community to undertake collaborative efforts that have a fundamental impact on tomorrow's Internet. Internet2's advanced networking consortium is currently comprised of more than 200 U.S. universities in cooperation with 70 leading corporations, 45 government agencies, laboratories and other institutions of higher learning as well as over 50 international partner organizations.
For more information: www.internet2.edu