Universities as Providers of Neutral Networks?

Andrew at funferal takes up my question about a grassroots effort for network neutrality via constructing neutral networks, and brings up a good point about Universities:

Incidentally, if we’re looking for a useful partner for the grassroots, why not look to the Universities. They probably have as much capacity as Google, if not more, with nodes in more places.

That reminded me that the University of Illinois here in Urbana-Champaign has purchased up a bunch of dark fiber between here and Chicago, where there is another U of I campus. The reason I’ve been given for purchase is so the University can buy internet access at the more competitive rates available in the Chicago area, and then route traffic itself to central Illinois.

Of course, that dark fiber can also be used to establish good and less vulnerable connectivity between the Urbana and Chicago campuses, that could be used for sharing rich media, amongst other things.

If well-connected universities could be convinced to share, or sell, some of their bandwidth with surrounding communities, perhaps via wi-fi networks, then the big telcos could be somewhat circumvented.

Andrew also notes that in Ireland there is an internet backbone created by a consortium of educational institutions .



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One response to “Universities as Providers of Neutral Networks?”

  1. George Avatar

    Interesting point of view for an anarchist. You see…the government isn’t so bad after all. Or is it?

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