Internet2 Network Update: COVID-19 Initial Connectivity Upgrades Complete

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By Chris Wilkinson, Internet2 Director of Network Planning and Architecture

To support the transition of students and faculty to remotely accessing campus resources from home, including online education and research, Internet2 has recently completed upgrades to the Internet2 Peer Exchange (I2PX) connectivity to home broadband providers and key content providers. A preview of this was described in our blog post from March 26, 2020.

These connections are the bridge between the nation’s highly tuned R&E networks and the commercial services that support individual homes and cloud providers. As part of our initial effort, we focused on increasing capacity to peers with high need for capacity increases over the short term:

ZoomUpgrade from 30G to 200G at two sites: New York and San Jose.Completed April 7, 2020.
ComcastUpgrade from 70G to 630G across seven sites: Ashburn, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Jose, and Seattle.530G online as of April 13, 2020. Los Angeles is pending.
CharterTargeting 2X and 3X upgrades to all PNIs and Public Exchanges: Ashburn, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Jose.75% complete as of April 10, 2020. Remaining 25% in Ashburn is pending.

These investments, conducted in great collaboration with the providers, ensure that additional headroom is present across all these key partners so that the community has access to additional resources as traffic patterns continue to shift. 

As a continuing effort, we are reviewing additional upgrades to home broadband and education-related content providers. We will continue to track this as the landscape of the community shifts from home to campus, as well as various hybrid states. 

In addition to the targeted peering upgrades above, Internet2 is implementing a proactive, no-cost upgrade to its commercial Internet service (ISP). This service has historically been used to serve Internet2 offices, research DTNs, and SIP servers. The added capacity will now also be available to regional partners to augment their own commercial ISP connectivity in emergency situations. 

CenturyLink ISPCenturyLink ISP Upgrade from 2G to 400G across 4 sites: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.Completed April 21, 2020.

As it evolves, this service intends to add value to the investment that Internet2 members have made in Internet2 should an emergency require it. It will not replace existing commercial ISP services in use for day-to-day access.

We greatly appreciate your feedback and collaboration as your regional, campus, and school plans solidify so that we can provide the best partnership possible. Please use networkdevelopment@internet2.edu to contact us.

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