Mississippi Research Network - MissON
Mississippi universities and other government entities should be connected by the end of this year to a high-speed broadband network that will boost their research capacity, officials said Wednesday.
Gov. Haley Barbour said the Mississippi Research Network, also known as MissiON, will use AT&T fiber-optic lines to provide 20 times more broadband capacity than is currently being used.
The network will connect members of the Mississippi Research Consortium. The consortium comprises the state’s four research universities -- Mississippi State, Jackson State, the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi. It includes the University of Mississippi Medical Center, NASA in Hancock County, the Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg and the Mississippi Department of Information Technology.
The state will pay AT&T $2 million a year for each of the next eight years to use the company’s fiber-optic lines, Barbour said. He said the $16 million price tag is a significant savings from the estimated $70 million it would’ve cost the state to build the network itself.
Felix Okojie, chairman of the research consortium, said the group envisions increases in biomedical, ecological and oceanographic research and high-performance computing. He said that should help Mississippi remain competitive or “at the very least be at parity with some of our neighboring states.”
“This investment is going to give us a significant return, not only for the current citizens of the state but for the future citizens that are yet to be born,” said Okojie, who’s also vice president for research and federal relations at Jackson State.
Mayo Flynt, president of AT&T–Mississippi, said the Mississippi Research Network will have a 20 gigabit capacity -- the ability to move 20 billion bits of information per second. He said the average home DSL line can handle 6 megabits, or 6 million bits of information per second.
“Make no mistake: This is not your average service upgrade,” Flynt said during a news conference at the governor’s office with Barbour and Okojie.
Mayo said the added broadband capability is for research only. It won’t be available, for example, for university students to more quickly download music or movies in their dorm rooms.
Barbour’s office said Mississippi Research Consortium members already have $380.7 million of federally funded research that relies on high-speed computing capability.
Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2011/08/17/3357974/universities-get-research-technology.html#ixzz1VVkhJAvm