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CSU-Pueblo makes ‘first critical step’ by joining world’s largest online research network

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Image courtesy of Internet2.edu
Image courtesy of Internet2.edu

Among the myriad proposals and changes swirling around the CSU-Pueblo campus over the next few years will be the school’s inclusion in the Internet2 research data exchange network. The project is slated to begin this June.

Internet2, founded in 1996, is a community of universities and research institutes around the U.S. and other countries providing high capacity Internet connectivity for sharing mass quantities of research data.

According to the Internet2 community’s website, the high performance network allows connection speeds up to 100 gigabits per second. The average U.S. Internet connection speed, in comparison, is 12.6 megabits per second.

A National Science Foundation grant in the amount of $306,663 was awarded to CSU-Pueblo last October for the purpose of laying the connection infrastructure, campus Chief Information Technology Officer Erich Matola said.

He said the move is “a first crucial step in reaping the benefits of Internet2.”

The first step already took place when the campus worked with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder to purchase the equipment needed to build the connection, Matola said.

The effects of partnership in the community will not be readily noticeable on campus, however. Matola said the connection will only be available to faculty and students engaged in major research projects.

One portion of the grant includes $60,000 earmarked for installing a direct burial fiber cable connection to the CSU-Pueblo observatory, he said, allowing a direct connection between it and the main campus.

“It certainly opens the door for more research opportunities for CSU-P,” Matola said, commenting on the prospects that networking with the more than 440 Internet2 member institutions and thousands of other participating organizations could provide.

Matola said the grant writing was a project proposed by the Provost’s Office and executed jointly with himself and Pat Burns of Colorado State University.