Internet2’s government relations program seeks to create an open forum for dialogue and development between the higher education technology community and the federal government to encourage new innovation, partnerships, and collaboration.For more information about Internet2 Government Relations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the request of the NSF, Internet2 issued an electronic survey in October, 2009, to its research university members inquiring about the current level of connectivity they have to the commercial Internet and research networks like Internet2. The survey results (pdf) helped to inform the FCC's National Broadband plan development.
Telecom Policy & Initiatives
The National Broadband Plan
The FCC has released a National Broadband Plan under the auspices of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This plan includes support for a "Unified Community Anchor Network" (UCAN). From the text of the NBP:
“In the past, the connectivity needs of research institutions have been met by non-profit research and education (R&E) networks such as Internet2 and National LambdaRail. R&E networks played a central role in the development and growth of the Internet itself through ARPANET and later NSFNET. Today, similar R&E networks provide high-speed (10 Mbps-1 Gbps) connectivity to 66,000 community anchor institutions. But more can be done—it is estimated that only one-third of anchor institutions have access to an R&E network today. This model should be expanded to other community institutions . . . . Expanding the R&E network model to other anchor institutions would offer tremendous benefits.”
Internet2, together with our community partners, worked to articulate to the FCC the value of the R&E community’s investments in order to help inform the plan’s development. A comprehensive filing was submitted to the FCC in January, 2010, detailing the concept of a “Unified Community Anchor Network, ” and recommending that the FCC plan build on our extensive investment the research and education community and existing expertise to bring advanced broadband connectivity to all of the nation’s community anchor institutions.
The FCC Rural Healthcare Pilot Program
The FCC Rural Healthcare pilot program is an enhanced funding initiative intended to help public and non-profit health care providers construct state- and region-wide broadband networks to provide telehealth and telemedicine services throughout the nation. The program will fund up to 85% of the costs of constructing those networks, as well as the costs of advanced telecommunications and information services that will ride over these networks. If selected, up to 85% of the cost of connecting to Internet2, a dedicated nationwide backbone, may also be funded by the pilot program. Connection to Internet2 is not required, but may be requested by the applicants. Learn more about this program.
Net neutrality refers to the concept of keeping the Internet open to all lawful content, information, applications, and equipment. In the past several months, cable and telephone companies have publicly stated their intent to fundamentally change the architecture of the Internet in order to create tiered networks for premium delivery of their own proprietary services. In doing so, this plan would essentially break the Internet model and allow network operators to discriminate against certain Internet users or applications in order to give an advantage to these services. Learn what Internet2 is doing to help protect net neutrality.
ESnet is the high-speed network serving thousands of Department of Energy scientists and collaborators worldwide. Over the past few years, ESnet and Internet2 have shared a common technical vision for the evolution of dynamically delivered network capabilities for future scientific research. Formalizing their collaboration, at the end of August 2006 the two networking organizations announced a partnership to develop and deploy the next generation of ESnet, called ESnet4, with the new Internet2 Network backbone. Thus, both the DOE and the Internet2 community are working together toward their mutual need for the development of a scalable, sustainable, high performance network backbone that connects researchers and scholars at Internet2 member institutions with scientists at the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy's ESnet build-out will follow that of the Internet2 Network. Get more information on ESnet4.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the new NOAA high-capacity research network, called NWave, is built on a set of 10-Gigabit per second dedicated waves on the national Internet2 Network. The network waves will be used to provide dedicated, high-capacity connections between climate and weather researchers and NOAA's key high-performance computing sites across the nation.
Climate scientists around the country leverage these HPC resources to understand, predict, and explain changes in climate. This is accomplished by developing and applying state-of-the-art, computationally intensive coupled climate models for advancing climate research, predicting climate from weeks to decades, and projecting future climate out to several centuries. NWave provides the critical high capacity network links that can support these large data flows between sites as well as provide the capabilities to allow NOAA scientists the ability to easily share computational resources with the U.S. Department of Energy and other U.S. government agencies.
Internet2 facilitates research partnerships by providing technical support and consultation on member proposals to government funding agencies; coordinating and collaborating on projects involving member participation; assisting in the deployment of key research findings; and writing letters of support which illustrate the advances in network research that member projects are likely to achieve. Internet2 senior staff members also sit on NSF scientific peer-review panels and meet regularly with government funding agencies to anticipate and respond to research funding trends and priorities, and partner with organizations such as EDUCAUSE on the creation of topical task forces. Learn more about how Internet2 supports member research activities.