CENIC Network Upgrade Supports CCC Bandwidth Needs

CENIC Network Upgrade Supports CCC Bandwidth Needs

Stylized lines connected to form a network

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) is modernizing its high-speed research and education network to support the growing and evolving needs of members statewide, including the California Community Colleges.

By early 2022, CENIC expects to have completed its upgrade to Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI) across the 17 major hub sites of the California Research and Education Network (CalREN) — including the newly operational nodes in Chico and Palo Cedro that expand network access for rural colleges. NGI will support more high-speed data users and a variety of services to monitor performance and security on the network.

With more than 8,000 miles of fiber-optic cable, CalREN serves more than 20 million students, researchers, and other users at California’s public education institutions, public libraries, and private universities, including Caltech, Naval Postgraduate School, Stanford University and the University of Southern California.

Bandwidth Demands Increasing

An initiative of the California Community Colleges Technology Center, in partnership with CENIC, is currently upgrading network circuits at all California community college campuses to 10Gbps and 1Gbps. The circuit project is expected to be completed by 2023-24.

Meanwhile, bandwidth deployment at all colleges has grown from 4 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) in 2007 to 2,114 Gbps in 2021. By 2025, total bandwidth deployment is expected to be 2,778 Gbps.

The increasing need for bandwidth in California’s higher education and research sector mirrors a global trend. According to the CISCO Annual Internet Report (2018-2023) Whitepaper:

  • There will be 5.3 billion total internet users (66 percent of global population) by 2023, up from 3.9 billion (51 percent of global population) in 2018.
  • In North America alone, there will be 345 million internet users by 2023 (92 percent of regional population).
  • The number of devices connected to IP networks will be more than three times the global population by 2023, up from 2.4 devices per capita in 2018.
  • By 2023, North America’s average fixed broadband speed will reach 141.8 Mbps, which represents 2.5-fold growth from 2018 (56.6 Mbps).

These important upgrades will benefit the students, staff and faculty of the entire California Community College system.