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[I2-NEWS] Texas A&M University awarded $6.6 Million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Grant

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  • From: "Vaught, Ethel K" <>
  • To: "''" <>
  • Subject: [I2-NEWS] Texas A&M University awarded $6.6 Million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Grant
  • Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2010 18:22:04 +0000
  • Accept-language: en-US
  • Authentication-results:; dkim=neutral (message not signed) header.i=none

Texas A&M University, on behalf of The Texas A&M University System's TTVN
Network, has been awarded a $6.6 million Broadband Technology Opportunities
Program (BTOP) grant. This award, along with $3 million in matching
contributions, will allow the A&M System to provide high-speed broadband
access to all 11 A&M System universities, the Texas A&M Health Science
Center, and communities served by the A&M System. Through a public-private
partnership with five independent rural telephone and cable television
companies in Texas, the City of Corpus Christi, the Texas Department of
Public Safety (DPS), and the A&M System, the grant will fund construction of
Texas Pipes, a fiber optic network with minimum data rates of one gigabit per
second (Gbps) and capable of supporting up to 40 Gbps. Grant funds also
enhance public safety by increasing broadband capabilities for campus police
departments. "This initiative once again demonstrates Texas A&M University
and the A&M System's desire to be a leader in collaborative networking," said
Dr. Pierce Cantrell, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief
Information Officer.

Texas Pipes will leverage the existing broadband infrastructure of the A&M
System's TTVN Network by building new connections to the Lonestar Education
and Research Network (LEARN), the Texas regional optical network that serves
higher education institutions, community colleges, and K-12 public schools.
LEARN provides high-speed access to the Texas Education Intranet and
specialized higher education research and education networks, such as
Internet2 and National LambdaRail. Constructing these new connections will
expand LEARN's reach into currently underserved areas of Texas, increasing
access to distance learning, research, and health services. All of the
educational institutions connected via the BTOP grant will have Internet2
network access through the Sponsored Educational Group Participant (SEGP)
program (

Mike Phillips, Executive Director of LEARN, said, "This award would not have
been possible without the leadership and collaborative nature of a broad and
diverse set of partners working together on behalf of Texans. The project
will enable us to bring needed broadband based services to many new
communities throughout Texas. LEARN is excited to have the opportunity to
work with our partners on this innovative and dynamic project."

Partners in the fiber optic network construction include five independent
telephone and cable TV companies that belong to the Texas Lone Star Network
(TLSN). Brad Seymour, TLSN General Manager, said, "TLSN and our participating
Member Companies are proud to play our role in the public/private partnership
with Texas A&M. The BTOP grant funding will enable TLSN to provide high-speed
broadband services to our Member Companies, who serve the end users in the
rural areas. This partnership with Texas A&M will benefit a large number of
people with a much better quality of broadband service."

Another project partner, the City of Corpus Christi, will be expanding their
network and connecting community centers, libraries, and public safety
facilities, as well as making their resources available to Texas A&M
University Corpus Christi.
Funding also is provided for next generation Internet-based radio gateways
that allow campus police departments to communicate with local DPS radio
systems over the broadband network. DPS will be making their public safety
databases (including wants and warrants) over a shared link, eliminating the
need for costly satellite-based communication links. According to Cantrell,
"This grant was only made possible through a public and private partnership
that embraces the spirit of the BTOP grants. The required 30% grant match was
shared by all of the partners that will benefit from the grant."

The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications Information
Administration (NTIA) is providing BTOP grants to fund comprehensive
broadband infrastructure projects, public computer centers, and sustainable
broadband adoption projects. The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act
provided a total of $7.2 billion for the NTIA and the Department of
Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to expand access to and adoption
of broadband services in communities across the U.S.

For more information, visit

  • [I2-NEWS] Texas A&M University awarded $6.6 Million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Grant, Vaught, Ethel K, 08/23/2010

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