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Nationwide 100G Network Works with Regional Networks to Provide Advanced Features

Internet2 has announced two new network agreements to support the deployment of advanced health information technologies in communities in New England and North Carolina.

Internet2’s agreements with the New England Telehealth Consortium and the North Carolina TeleHealth Network, with the help of regional operating networks, the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) and Northern Crossroads (NoX) in New England, will facilitate the adoption of telemedicine solutions, including remote medical diagnostics, and will facilitate faster medical imaging sharing among connected health network facilities.

“In concert with our regional network partners, NCREN and NoX, we are pleased to be an integral part in helping the New England Telehealth Consortium and the North Carolina TeleHealth Network achieve their vision to provide advanced telehealth services to citizens and communities in North Carolina and throughout New England. Providing connectivity services to FCC Rural Health Care Pilot Program recipients is a shining example of how Internet2 plans to leverage its network and services through our U.S. UCAN initiative to support the advanced networking needs of community anchor institutions,” commented H. David Lambert, president and chief executive officer, Internet2.

Internet2, through its U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) healthcare initiative, works with healthcare institutions and telehealth network providers throughout the nation to promote and enable e-healthcare and networking solutions.

The New England Telehealth Consortium and the North Carolina TeleHealth Network are Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rural Health Care Pilot Program recipients. These two telehealth organizations recently agreed to connect to the Internet2 Network to benefit nearly 700 health organizations in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and North Carolina. To date, nearly 1,400 health organizations are connected to the Internet2 Network as a result of funding from the FCC Rural Health Care Pilot Program.

Other FCC Rural Health Care Pilot Program health networks connected to the Internet2 Network include: Iowa Health System, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Wisconsin, Palmetto State Providers Network in South Carolina, the Colorado Telehealth Network, and the California Telehealth Network.

The FCC’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program helps public and non-profit health care providers deploy state- and region-wide broadband networks to provide telehealth and telemedicine services throughout the nation. Internet2 works in cooperation with regional network connectors to support pilot participants.

The Internet2 Network is the national high-performance network connecting America’s colleges and universities to research and education collaborators worldwide. Internet2 is nearly complete with its network upgrade to 100 Gigabit Ethernet technologies and 8.8 Terabit per second capacity to support emerging bandwidth needs in research and education. The network upgrade also enables advanced networking features via Internet2’s U.S. UCAN effort for more than 200,000 of the country’s essential community anchor institutions including libraries, health institutions, K-12 schools, community colleges, public safety organizations, and other public institutions.

"The New England Telehealth Consortium is excited about the opportunity to connect our 400 plus Northern New England health care provider network with Internet2. This interconnectivity will provide NETC participants with access to unique resources, an enhanced ability for collaboration, and cost effective alternatives for providing clinical care and consultation," said Brian Thibeau, president, New England Telehealth Consortium.

"The North Carolina TeleHealth Network already supports broadband needs for about 60 percent of major telehealth programs in North Carolina. In the next phase of work we seek to exploit NCTN's connectivity to Internet2 to further the value and scope of telehealth programs for North Carolina's citizens," said Dr. William F. Pilkington, chief executive officer, Cabarrus Health Alliance.