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Schools Close On Linking to Network: LambdaRail about 100 times faster than commercial Internet
[June 06, 2008]

Schools Close On Linking to Network: LambdaRail about 100 times faster than commercial Internet

(Albuquerque Journal (NM) (KRT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jun. 6--Two New Mexico universities are close to tapping into LambdaRail, the high-speed nationwide data network that's about 100 times faster than the commercial Internet.

The University of New Mexico has taken the lead in rolling out LambdaRail in the state. Barney Maccabe, UNM's chief information officer, said there's been a problem in making the final fiber connection for New Mexico State and New Mexico Tech.

He said the problems appear to be fixed, and he expects New Mexico Tech and New Mexico State will be connected before August.

UNM is already routing some of its Internet traffic through LambdaRail, Maccabe said.

Van Romero, vice president for research and economic development at New Mexico Tech and a member of the National LambdaRail board, said researchers at his university are eager for the LambdaRail connection to reach New Mexico Tech so they can tap into such things as the supercomputer.

"It certainly is frustrating when we have this great supercomputer that we have access to, or that we wish we had access to, and we don't," Romero said. "And so the frustration level among the faculty is really high. But you have to realize when you look at the big picture, it's just been a month or so."

Beyond allowing New Mexico Tech and New Mexico State the ability to tap into the supercomputer, LambdaRail could also be a solution for the schools' costly and everincreasing need for bandwith.

New Mexico has been connected to National LambdaRail for two years. National LambdaRail is a consortium of universities and corporations that operates the 15,000-mile network that transmits data an estimated 100 times faster than the commercial Internet.

The state committed to buy into National LambdaRail for $5 million. The amount was to be paid over five years.

Romero said the state has paid $4 million of its debt, but didn't get the final funding from the Legislature in the last session.

"We thought we had it lined up, and at the 11th hour it fell out of the bill ... ," Romero said. "We hope to in the comming session."

Romero said the national organization is allowing the state to make the final payment next year.

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