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[I2-NEWS] Mississippi Research Universities, Public to Reap Benefits from New Internet2 Connector Site

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  • From: Todd Sedmak <>
  • To:
  • Subject: [I2-NEWS] Mississippi Research Universities, Public to Reap Benefits from New Internet2 Connector Site
  • Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2012 11:07:28 -0400 (EDT)

Mississippi Research Universities, Public to Reap Benefits from New Internet2
Connector Site

Jackson, Miss. and Ann Arbor, Mich. (July 2, 2012)– When researchers and
faculty members at Mississippi's research universities and institutions
switch on their computers this morning, they have a new direct connection to
the ultrafast Internet2 network via the new Jackson Internet2 connector site.

With more than 8 terabytes per second of potential capacity now flowing
through Jackson, the Internet2 connection gives Mississippi's researchers the
ability to share large sets of data with collaborators across the country and
around the globe. University officials expect the enhanced connection to
boost research and economic development efforts statewide.

The switchover moves the high-speed connections used to support research at
Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, University of
Mississippi, UM Medical Center and University of Southern Mississippi from
Baton Rouge, La., to Jackson. The start-up and transfer is a joint project
between the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher
Learning and Internet2.
The project was made possible through expansion funding from the U.S.
Department of Commerce's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The
switchover was months in planning with representatives from each institution
making a case for the move. Last fall, IHL signed an agreement with Internet2.

"Connecting to the Internet2 network represents a tremendous step for
Mississippi public universities, the state and its citizens," said Hank M.
Bounds, IHL commissioner. "Our institutions collaborate very closely on
academics and research, and improving our connectivity through Internet2 will
strengthen this process. The end result is research and innovation that
encourage and support economic growth and opportunities to benefit all

The Jackson connector site is possible because of the new Mississippi Optical
Network, referred to as MissiON. Former Gov. Haley Barbour worked with AT&T
to create the network for the Mississippi Research Consortium, which includes
UM, MSU, USM and JSU. The network also serves the UM Medical Center, the
Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services, the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg and
NASA's Stennis Space Center.

"We are delighted that MissiON is now directly connected to the Internet2
Network and that these expanded capabilities of the new Internet2 network are
available in Jackson," said Rob Vietzke, Internet2 vice president of network
services. "The new network node dramatically improves Mississippi's ability
to collaborate with hundreds of similarly connected advanced research
organizations across the globe.

"MissiON, which is the 21st regional network to become a connector to the
Internet2 Network, now makes it possible for Mississippi Research Consortium
members to use our newly upgraded 100G network – the nation's fastest,
coast-to-coast network – to implement new technologies that support
scientific 'big data' and cloud applications to drive innovation involving
clean energy, cancer cures, astronomy and other important global
collaborative research."

Research officers shared expectations of how the switchover will improve
projects at their respective institutions.
"The quantity of information used for scientific discovery is rapidly
increasing," said Alice Clark, UM vice chancellor for research and sponsored
programs. "This direct connection ensures that our researchers have the
channels they need to participate fully in 21st century scientific discovery.

"From astrophysicists who are researching the mysteries of the universe to
Shakespeare scholars who are using digital imaging to study Renaissance
texts, Internet2 will have a broad impact across the diverse research
activities at UM and will give all our students faster, more reliable access
to a world of information."

Internet2 supports and enhances JSU's research mission in particular allowing
significantly greater leveraging of its high-performance network.

"With our computational collaborative research projects being carried out
with U.S. universities, government laboratories and our international
partners, there is a need for fast transfer of large amounts of data," said
Felix Okojie, JSU vice president for research. "Internet2 facilitates such
operations, thus making JSU collaborative research efforts more efficient and

David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development at MSU, said
the direct connectivity to the new Internet2 point of presence in Jackson
will allow for enhanced collaboration with other research universities and
federal labs around the nation and the world.

"By enabling the development of new software applications, providing
real-time control of remote instruments and allowing for massive data
transfers more quickly and reliably than before, this enhanced capability
will allow MSU to engage in new research endeavors, advance scientific
discovery and promote economic development activities for the region and the
state," Shaw said.

"Since we frequently use the Internet to send large data sets or hi-def
images, an upgrade to Internet2 will certainly benefit us," said Glen
Shearer, USM professor and chair of biological sciences and director of the
Mississippi IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence.

Internet2 is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the
nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a
collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to
solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in
support of their educational, research and community service missions.

For more information about Internet2, visit For
more information about MissiON, visit


Todd Sedmak
PR and Media Relations Manager
202-331-5373 (w), 804-497-0282 (c) or

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  • [I2-NEWS] Mississippi Research Universities, Public to Reap Benefits from New Internet2 Connector Site, Todd Sedmak, 07/02/2012

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