Nebraska Inks $15 Million Deal to Connect Rural Students


3/9/2007—The state of Nebraska signed a five-year, $15 million deal with Denver, CO-based data and voice carrier Qwest Communications International Inc. to provide Internet protocol (IP) connectivity to thousands of rural students in northwest Nebraska. The services will give students access to distance learning and online classrooms.

The network provider’s Government and Educational Solutions group will connect 80 sites via metro optical Ethernet to some of the state’s most remote students. "The state of Nebraska is committed to using technology to ensure that students have access to the best possible education, regardless of where they live,” said Nebraska IT Commission (NITC) Chair Rick Sheehy in a prepared statement.

Metro optical Ethernet allows the creation gigabit Ethernet connections between educational sites and carrier points of presence in their native mode, eliminating any synchronous optical network (SONET) and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) layers between switches and routers. This reduces complexity, new equipment requirements and deployment time for educational network administrators.

The nine-member NITC, which includes representatives of elementary/secondary education and postsecondary education, is charged with ensuring the state’s IT infrastructure meets its citizens’ needs, and maintains a 16-member Educational Council to identify and serve the state’s educational IT needs.

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About the author: David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and editor and can be reached at

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About the Author

David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and marketing consultant, and can be reached at

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