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UNT Will Benefit From Statewide Fiber Optics Network
By Dr. Maurice Leatherbury, Executive Director of Information Technology and Academic Computing
At the Internet2 membership meeting in Austin on September 28th, Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst announced that the State of Texas would be granting the Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN) $7.3 million to develop a fiber optic network connecting the major metropolitan areas in the state. That network will extend to Denton and will allow UNT to connect to the statewide network as well as the nationwide National LambdaRail network (NLR) over high-speed connections (one gigabit or more, over ten times faster than UNT's current Internet connection.) More information about the State's grant can be found at http://www.tx-learn.org/pressrelease.cfm.
Thirty-one institutions of higher education in Texas belong to LEARN at this time: more information as well as a list of members can be found on LEARN's Web site: http://www.tx-learn.org. UNT was a founding member of that organization and Dr. Maurice Leatherbury, UNT's Executive Director of Information Technology and Academic Computing, serves as its secretary.
The LEARN network's "footprint" is shown in the map below, which reveals that most higher education institutions, including community colleges, will be within relatively inexpensive-to-reach distances to a connection point in the state. Current plans call for completing the "ring" (Dallas - Houston-San Antonio - Austin - Dallas) within about six months with the remainder of the sites being connected within a year.