The difference, Bedi said, has been KINBER.
Funded by a 2010 grant of nearly
That network, called the
"Our ultimate goal is to allow organizations within
When Bedi and the other charter members of KINBER's board began envisioning a better network five years ago, they already had the needs of their surrounding communities in mind, Bedi said.
"We were not looking out for our individual interests," he said. "We were looking out for the interests of
While Bucknell is currently the one of only two institutions in
"The incubator focuses on technology based startups, and many have a great need for internet bandwidth," Hummer said. "This high-speed internet connection allows them to backup all of their files off-site and provides an extra layer of security -- and it's very affordable."
"From a business standpoint, providing high-speed internet is going to set us apart from other areas," he added. "Our ultimate goal is to support the economic development of our area. We've got to make sure we have the resources in place to provide that."
Connection to PennREN also allows access to Internet2, a national high-speed network with 93,000 community network hubs, providing opportunities for live internet video-conferences and symposia, digital archiving, and distributed teaching and learning. Bucknell is considering joining the network, Bedi said, something that wasn't possible before KINBER. Tapping into the network would also allow local school districts to join the 60 percent of K-12 schools connected to Internet2.
"Think about how KINBER can be exploited in terms of small business development opportunities," Mathias said. "We think KINBER is a tremendous asset, and I challenge you to think about how that can be utilized."
KINBER Member Relations Director
"Libraries have become the critical lifeblood in a lot of communities," Barber said. "They are the technology centers."
On campus as well, access to PennREN's high-speed connection has already had an impact.
"I leverage the speed every day -- in my field, it's just an expectation," said Professor
Greater bandwidth has allowed Bucknell to move a variety of services formerly housed in on-campus servers -- including University email, all library systems and credit card processing -- into the cloud, Bedi said. Faculty have also increasingly begun using web-based videoconferencing to bring speakers from well outside the area into their classrooms.
"This opens up opportunities for our faculty which were not possible before because we didn't have the infrastructure," Bedi said. "It's still in its infancy, but they are using it more and more."
The University is looking to further exploit the network through the Keystone Digital Humanities Initiative, a new project Bucknell is spearheading. The collaboration with other
Thompson added that he is particularly intrigued by opportunities for the University to use the network to build awareness of and remote access to Bucknell.
"Prospective students on the
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