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IRON Connects to Internet2’s Next-Generation Nationwide Network

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  • From: Lauren Rotman <>
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  • Subject: IRON Connects to Internet2’s Next-Generation Nationwide Network
  • Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 11:27:17 -0500

IRON Connects to Internet2’s Next-Generation Nationwide Network

New Connection to Internet2 Enables Cutting-Edge Applications in Teaching and Learning Across Idaho

November 2, 2009 – Thousands more students, faculty, and researchers across the state of Idaho can now access one of the most advanced networks in the world. Internet2 and the Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON), including eligible Idaho-based institutions connected to IRON as well as the State of Idaho, Department of Administration’s Idaho Education Network (IEN), today announced that IRON has become the newest Internet2 Sponsored Education Group Participant (SEGP), the 38th state education network to participate in the program. IRON brings together Idaho’s schools, libraries, museums, colleges and other education and culturally-oriented institutions to share information and technology.

“Through this new connection, made possible through a generous sponsorship of the University of Idaho and Idaho State University, students and teachers in Idaho will be able to create virtual classrooms and laboratories that put global resources and experts at their fingertips," said Dr. Louis Fox, director, Internet2 K20 Initiative. “Over the past several years, we have seen the amazing results that advanced networking can bring to the K20 community and we look forward to working with IRON to further enrich this growing program."

IRON member institutions will now connect to Internet2’s nationwide high performance network through the University of Utah/Utah Education Network (UEN) connector. Through this connection, IRON’s connected institutions and IEN affiliates will also participate in the Internet2 K20 Initiative, which extends the most cutting-edge, Internet-based educational opportunities not available today on the commercial Internet.

“As Idaho’s Sponsored Education Group Participant (SEGP), IRON is excited to join with Internet2 and its members in providing the most advanced educational resources and technologies available to Idaho’s public school students and educators. By providing access to the Internet2 K20 Initiative, IRON assures that video and streaming media access to libraries, museums and other educational institutions and resources worldwide is available on demand. Even Idaho’s smallest rural school districts can now access or share world-class teaching and learning resources that would otherwise not be available or cost effective in their communities. High school students can now access advanced placement topics and college class credits while completing their high school graduation requirements. Educators are able to pursue professional training, certifications or graduate degrees. Distance and lack of accessibility no longer limit educational opportunities for Idaho schools,” said David E. O’Neill, president and CEO, IRON.

Through its national K20 Initiative, Internet2 brings together institutions and innovators from primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, libraries, and museums to extend advanced networking-enabled technologies, applications, middleware, and content to all educational sectors. The K20 Initiative now comprises 38 state education networks which in turn connect over 60,000 research and education institutions in the U.S.

“Unlike the urban areas of the world, the rural regions of Idaho have suffered greatly from a lack of adequate bandwidth, putting the state at a distinct disadvantage in facilitating research, disseminating information, stimulating local economies, and collaborating with institutions or partners across the state, nation and world,” said Harvey L. Hughett, executive director of Information Technology Services and CIO of University of Idaho. “Learning institutions, health facilities, research parks, national labs, art galleries, government, business and residential users must have affordable bandwidth connectivity in order to pursue essential day-to-day activities. When fully developed, the Idaho Regional Optical Network, partnered with Internet2, will finally provide the critical platform that will open countless opportunities and allow Idahoans to thrive in the modern world.”

Randy Gaines, Chief Information Officer at Idaho State University added, “Idaho State University is excited to help extend these connectivity capabilities statewide. Idaho State University has been a member of Internet2 for ten years and has partnered with the Utah Education Network since the year 2000 to provide advanced networking to our faculty and researchers, as well as providing Internet access to K-12, government, and healthcare partners in Southeast Idaho. With this agreement Idaho State University, University of Idaho, and IRON, will now be able to share our advanced Internet2 connectivity with others, and create many new exciting capabilities for those connecting.”

Participants in the K20 initiative are able to take advantage of a wide range of resources like master music classes using HD-quality videoconferencing or events like Megaconference Jr., an annual project that uses 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 take part in immersive undersea exploration demonstrations with divers in remote locations around the world led by famed oceanographer Bob Ballard.

The K20 initiative has also launched a social networking site, called “Muse” which provides a focal point for bringing diverse and geographically disparate individuals and groups together for collaboration using the Internet2 Network.

For more information, visit:

About Internet2

Internet2 is the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium. Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 promotes the missions of its members by providing both leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. Internet2 brings the U.S. research and academic community together with technology leaders from industry, government and the international community to undertake collaborative efforts that have a fundamental impact on tomorrow's Internet.

For more information:


Chartered in late 2007, IRON, Inc. is a nonprofit cooperative made up of universities, the State of Idaho, the Idaho Hospital Association and the Idaho National Laboratory to establish a high-performance Regional Optical Network within the State of Idaho. IRON is Idaho’s common voice to the regional optical networking community demonstrating leadership and commitment to the provision of high speed network connectivity in support of education, research, healthcare and government for the state of Idaho.

For more information, visit:


Lauren Rotman



  • IRON Connects to Internet2’s Next-Generation Nationwide Network, Lauren Rotman, 11/02/2009

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