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Building a Broadband Community Across the U.S.

Apr 01, 2014, by Paul Caskey
Tags: Community Anchor Program

Internet2, through its United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) program, supports the advanced broadband networking needs of more than 93,000 community anchor institutions (CAIs) across the U.S.  This number includes approximately 60% of all K-12 schools and 25% of all public libraries.  Forty-two states participate in the U.S. UCAN program (formally known as the Sponsored Education Group Participant (SEGP) program), which promotes advanced connectivity and applications for CAIs. Internet2’s  41 Regional Research and Education (R&E) network partners connect CAIs directly to Internet2's nationwide R&E network.   

Only four years ago, 66,000 CAIs were connected to Internet2.  Thanks to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) implementation of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, we have seen a 40% increase in the number of CAIs connected to Internet2 through the R&E network partners.

CAIs connected to Internet2 are able to participate in the Nation’s R&E community and leverage advanced networking.  Hospitals and health clinics are able to provide specialized medical consultation via telemedicine links to remote communities and to link their electronic medical records to health information exchanges.  Libraries are able to promote their facilities as distance-learning centers with Internet2 enabled connections to university and community college online programs.  K-12 schools are able to participate in special, interactive video-conferencing programs through a special partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), National Archives’ Presidential Libraries, and the Library of Congress.  One of these “Presidential Primary Source Project” sessions included a special presentation and question and answer session with former President Jimmy Carter!  Internet2 also is examining opportunities to support "National Anchors," including for example, the Smithsonian

U.S. UCAN looks forward to working with our R&E network partners to grow the community beyond 93,000 CAIs in the coming years.