CAAREN is part of the cooperative community of higher education and networking technology with the goal of enabling and enhancing the research and educational missions of its members and customers. Partnerships are an important part of achieving that goal. We look to partner with not only those who can help us achieve our mission, but those whose missions we can help them achieve.
Our first major partnership is with DC-Net, the District of Columbia’s city-wide communications provider. This partnership has two major components:
First, we are working to connect DC Public Schools (DCPS) and DC Public Libraries (DCPL) to Internet2 under the United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN). This effort (previously called SEGP) works to connect community resources such as public schools, libraries, healthcare facilities and other organizations that cannot, on their own, be direct Internet2 members. The goal is to bring the rich capabilities of the Internet2 community deeper into the communities around research institutions. This program brings benefits, such as digital field trips to K-12 and telemedicine to clinical healthcare sites that might not have access to the bandwidth and technology without U.S. UCAN.
The second facet of the partnership with DC-Net is the deep fiber footprint that DC-Net offers. One of the challenges of any communications infrastructure is the “last-mile” problem. Using GW’s dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) infrastructure, CAAREN has established a connection to Internet2, and Internet2 has established fiber paths throughout the United States. Connecting individual customers to this network may be a challenge in situations where commercial service providers are unable to provide the bandwidth of facilities necessary to make use of this advanced service. DC-Net has a deep fiber footprint throughout the city and to many buildings, which should alleviate many of the problems associated with the last-mile connection.