Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Internet2 Signs New Network Agreement with Level 3 -- Push for 100 Gbps

Internet2 has reached a new, multi-year agreement under which Level 3 Communications will build a national network with 8.8 Tbps of capacity. This backbone will support more than 200,000 community anchor institutions nationwide, including K-12 schools, libraries, community colleges, health centers, hospitals and public safety organizations.

Specifically, Internet2 will acquire the right to use fiber strands on Level 3's fiber-optic network as well as Level 3's network management support to a new 100 Gigabit Ethernet Network.

Internet2 will utilize more than 10,000 miles of fiber on the Level 3 national footprint and gain the ability to obtain additional miles for the next three years as needed. Level 3 will install Internet2's 8.8 Tbps optical equipment and provide 24/7 monitoring and field support to these facilities. Colocation facilities and power for the network will also be provided by Level 3.

Internet2 will partner closely with Level 3 on the daily operations of the network while remaining the owner of the optical equipment with the right of use on the fiber infrastructure and will also direct provisioning and capacity planning.

The new Internet2 network is partially funded by a federal stimulus grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

"Today's announcement with Level 3 represents another major milestone in helping to fulfill the promise of Internet2's BTOP grant by providing the critical underlying infrastructure needed to support community anchor institutions nationwide," said Rob Vietzke, Internet2 executive director of Network Services. "Level 3 has been a committed, reliable provider to Internet2 for many years. They have gained a unique understanding of the needs of the research and education community, providing a customer-directed network support arrangement that allows Internet2 to be highly innovative and highly flexible. When coupled with Level 3's field support resources, this agreement is a natural evolution of our relationship. It also allows our members to leverage existing network investments to realize dramatically enhanced capabilities today, as well as position all of the communities we serve with the ability to significantly grow and take advantage of new opportunities well into the future."

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