Internet2 provides access to high-performance networking for participating members, as well as other organizations whose connectivity benefits higher education in the United States. Internet2 exists to advance the goal of facilitating and enabling the development of advanced network applications, services, and content that enable routine collaboration on instructional, clinical, and/or research projects, services, and content among participants. Any organization that subscribes to or uses Internet2 services through a connector, through a direct connection, or through any other route is considered to be an Internet2 Network Participant. Participants may be Primary or Sponsored. Within the Sponsored Participation category there are two classes, Sponsored Individual Institutions, and Sponsored Educational Group Participant (SEGP)/U.S. UCAN.
Primary Network Participants
Primary Participants are typically colleges and universities, but may also be other types of research organizations with the capability of committing and deploying the substantial resources necessary to implement Internet2 capabilities. Primary Network Participants include Level 1 and Level 2 University members, some Level 3 University members (at their option), and affiliate (including federal affiliates) and corporate members with Collaboration Site Status.
U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network / Sponsored Educational Group Participants
In August 2013, the Sponsored Educational Group Participant (SEGP) program was rebranded as the U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN). The U.S. UCAN / SEGP program enables community anchor institutions (CAIs) within a state to connect to Internet2 in support of collaborative projects designed to develop or use advanced applications or further the deployment and use of advanced networking capabilities. Being part of a U.S. UCAN program within a state allows eligible CAIs to use the Internet2 network, but the CAIs are not regular members of Internet2. Examples of organizations that are eligible to connect through U.S. UCAN include community, vocational or technical colleges; K-12 institutions; healthcare providers; public safety agencies; government entities; libraries; museums, or other non-university related educational, cultural, or public institutions within the same state; tribal organizations and related anchors; and any other entity agreed upon in writing by the state’s U.S. UCAN provider and Internet2. Each state is eligible to participate in the U.S. UCAN / SEGP program through the sponsorship of an Internet2 University Level 1 or 2 member. U.S. UCAN / SEGP participants, also known as CAIs, are connected through an Internet2 connector and may be aggregated via regional research and education networks and connectors, telehealth networks, state-wide education networks, community college networks, and similar collectives of research and education organizations. These networks are engaged in applications development and other projects designed to enhance their use of advanced networking infrastructure and services.
Internet2's K20 Initiative is part of the U.S. UCAN program and focused on supporting K-12 schools, libraries, and other related organizations. Forty-four states, including the District of Columbia, participate in U.S. UCAN.
Sponsored participants are individual institutions (including not-for-profit or for-profit organizations) that require routine collaboration on instructional, clinical, and/or research projects, services, and content with Internet2 University participants or with other Sponsored Participants. Such organizations typically are either not eligible or not able to become Internet2 members but are able to connect to the Internet2 network via Internet2 network connectors.