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Alaska State Education Network Connects to Internet2's Next- Generation Network

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  • From: "Lauren Rotman" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: Alaska State Education Network Connects to Internet2's Next- Generation Network
  • Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 13:05:24 -0500

Alaska State Education Network Connects to Internet2's Next-Generation

Connection Enables K20 Students Across Alaska to Participate in Leading-Edge
Internet-Based Educational Opportunities

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and FAIRBANKS, Alaska - March 23, 2006 - Children across
the state of Alaska will soon have access to one of the fastest networks in
the world.

Representatives from Internet2 and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)
today announced that Alaska's statewide education network, AK20, will become
the 35th state education network to connect directly to Internet2's
nationwide high performance network. Leveraging this connection, AK20 will
participate in the Internet2 K20 Initiative which will give Alaska's
students access to cutting-edge, Internet-based educational opportunities
not available today on the commercial Internet.

The announcement was made during a special ceremony held at UAF's Internet2
Day. Participants included, Douglas Van Houweling, Internet2's president and
CEO; Louis Fox, Internet2's director of the K20 Initiative; Steve Smith,
UAF's CIO; and Scott Christian, executive director of the Alaska Distance
Education Consortium.

"Internet2 has worked diligently in partnership with University of Alaska
and the Pacific Northwest Gigapop to bring these leading-edge Internet
capabilities to the Alaskan K20 community," said Dr. Louis Fox, director,
Internet2 K20 Initiative and vice provost, University of Washington.
"Through this program, not only will thousands of Alaskan students and
teachers be able to take part in the latest networking technology to
collaborate and learn in new ways but in turn, they will help enrich their
peers in the broader education community by sharing the rich traditions,
diverse cultures and institutions that make up this unique region."

Through this connection, made possible through the Pacific Northwest
Gigapop, teachers and students across Alaska will be able to participate in
programs like Megaconference Jr., a project that uses advanced
videoconferencing technology to bring together thousands of students in
elementary and secondary schools from around the world for an all-day
learning conference. Students can also receive live undersea exploration
demonstrations from remote locations with famed oceanographer Bob Ballard,
take master music classes from world-renowned instructors or use
remote-controlled instruments to dissect a biology specimen from 1,000 miles

"UAF has a long tradition of providing our campus with the most advanced
resources available and has served as the state's hub for cutting-edge
technology development," said Steve Smith, UAF's chief information officer.
"By sponsoring the state's K20 Initiative, we are extending next-generation
capabilities to a community which would not otherwise have access to these
valuable educational resources."

AK20 connects hundreds of Alaska schools, libraries, community colleges and
museums. Schools within urban areas such as Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau
will connect via a fiber-optic network, while outlying rural areas will use
satellite and digital microwave connections. While not all schools have
sufficient bandwidth to take full advantage of Internet2's network
capabilities, AK20 is working with Alaska's carriers to provide the highest
bandwidth possible to these schools.

About Internet2
Led by more than 200 U.S. universities, working with industry and
government, Internet2 develops and deploys advanced network applications and
technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the creation of
tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnerships among academia,
industry, and government that helped foster today's Internet in its infancy.
For more information about Internet2, visit:

About the Internet2 Sponsored Educational Group Participant (SEGP) Program
The SEGP program is intended to allow expanded access to the Internet2
Abilene network for state and regional education networks, through
sponsorship by Internet2 university members. State and regional networks may
include nonprofit and for-profit K20 educational institutions, museums,
libraries, art galleries, or hospitals that require routine collaboration on
instructional, clinical and/or research projects, services and content with
Internet2 members or with other sponsored participants. The program began in
early 2001 and has since connected 35 state K20 networks.

About the University of Alaska Fairbanks
UAF is a Land, Sea and Space Grant institution with an enrollment of more
than 9,000 students. Located 160 miles south of the Arctic Circle, UAF is
the only doctoral degree granting institution in the state. Since it was
founded in 1917, UAF has been internationally recognized for research
relating to the Arctic and sub-arctic, in areas such as biology, geophysics,
engineering, natural resources and global climate change.

About Pacific Northwest Gigapop
The Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNW Gigapop) is a not-for-profit serving
leading edge organizations and Research and Education networks throughout
the Pacific Rim. PNW Gigapop provides robust, highest-speed access to
current state of the art Internet; Next Generation Internet services and
technology; and the exclusive R&D testbeds where tomorrow's Internet
technologies are being developed. The PNW Gigapop is built to be the highest
caliber Research and Education networking services hub in the world.

Lauren Rotman


Carla Browning

(907) 474-7778


  • Alaska State Education Network Connects to Internet2's Next- Generation Network, Lauren Rotman, 03/23/2006

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