Communications Office: Stephen Mease
BURLINGTON, Vt. (Oct. 18, 2013) - Champlain College today announced it is providing full Gigabit bandwidth for students at the College with two gigabit connections. The first will provide its campus residential students with gigabit access Internet service. The second is for Leahy Center for Digital Investigation (LCDI) promoting the economic opportunity for the development of digital forensics software and services.
The announcement at the 7th annual Vermont Tech Jam, came on the heels of news earlier this week about the partnership between the City of Burlington and Ignite US to create "BTV Ignite." The program will take advantage of the city's world-class fiber optic network able to deliver symmetrical speeds 100 times faster than the national average to attract new technology businesses, enhance education and research, and attract entrepreneurs to Vermont.
"We think our ability to provide next generation internet capacity to our students and faculty will be a major factor in helping to attract top students to our award-winning Champlain programs in cyber security, game design and digital forensics," said David Provost, senior vice president of Finance and Administration at the College. He also serves on the BTV Ignite Mayor's Advisory Board.
"Because we have the infrastructure at Champlain and in Burlington, this will be a major economic development tool for the region moving forward. It will help support our graduates being able to stay in Vermont and work. Whether they work for companies like Dealer.com or MyWebGrocer or start their own high-tech business, the access to high-speed bandwidth and next-generation thinking will create an environment where good-paying jobs exist and talented people want to live," he noted.
Champlain College students living in residential campus housing are already seeing the benefits of the increased bandwidth, noted Ted Laskaris, associate vice president of Information Systems and Security at Champlain and a member of the Advisory Board. "The average student owns three to five devices such as tablets, smartphones, IPods, gaming consoles and e-readers that need access to the internet. This increased capacity, which started Oct. 1, will allow them to explore, experiment and develop programs and solutions in their own rooms almost without limitations," he said.
In connection with US Ignite, the LCDI has submitted a grant proposal to build a scalable Cyber Security as Service model. "Utilizing the citywide gigabit network, the Center will be revolutionizing the way data is monitored/ collected during a cyber-security / digital forensic project," explained Jonathan Rajewski, director and principal investigator at the LCDI and assistant professor of Digital Forensics.
Champlain plans to link to Internet2 at the University of Vermont next summer. The Internet2 connection offers a range of network services tailored to the needs of research and education providing opportunity for educators to create more vibrant interactive online classes and crunch large amounts of data.
The gigabit service will enhance the work at the Leahy Center for Digital Investigation and the Emergent Media Centers in the Miller Center at Lakeside, Provost said. Using the citywide gigabit network, both of College's technology centers of excellence will be able to develop ground-breaking programs and services without the usual constraints of internet capacity. Proposals through the Emergent Media Center are already in the works for new partnerships with clients such as ECHO, Burlington's Lake Aquarium and Science Center.
William Wallace, executive director of US Ignite, said "The local Ignite initiative "BTV IGNITE: New England's Gigabit City," will help the city and Champlain College take advantage of this pivotal time in next-generation networks: capacity for city-wide gigabit access; density of research and education networks; vibrant tech business culture; core capabilities in key research areas; and a community with an intense entrepreneurial mindset and an enviable quality of life."
"We're looking for explorers to come up with the next email, the next browser, the next file transfer system," explained Wallace, at the press conference Tuesday. "That's the level of transformative change we're talking about here."
US Ignite said its mission is to foster the creation of 60 next-generation internet applications in communities like Burlington. Those applications are aimed at improving healthcare, education, public safety, energy, transportation, and advanced manufacturing, Wallace explained. Some examples would include a tool that would facilitate long-distance medical consultations and the sharing of large files such as MRI images.
US Ignite is a non-profit organization set up with inspiration from the National Science Foundation and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, both of which strongly believe that it is a 21st century competitive necessity for the US to take advantage of next-generation technologies. US Ignite launched last year at the White House and operates with a staff team supported by corporate, foundation, and community partners.
Burlington's newly formed "BTV Ignite" advisory group plans to think of ways to enhance the city's already-strong technology infrastructure, develop innovation centers, and mentor tech talent, said Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington. "This is where the economy of the country is going, where the economy of the world is going," Weinberger said, describing the tech sector.
BTV Ignite will encourage public, private, and academic institutions to develop next generation Internet applications in Burlington and is dedicated to aligning Burlington's powerful gigabit infrastructure as a tool, test bed, and accelerator for economic, educational, and community benefit.
In an interview with Jack Thurston of New England Cable News, Provost said "It allows Burlington to position itself as a tech hub. It sets a stage to allow innovation in the next generation of the internet in being able to do things we haven't yet been able to dream of."
The 2,300 students at Champlain College have power at their fingertips, because they're in a community that has city-wide access to internet speeds 100 times faster than the U.S. average and capable of huge file transfers quickly. "The potential is significant, now it's what we do with it," Provost said.
Provost said he is excited about how the school can tap into US Ignite's brand-new networking opportunities with other plugged-in cities around the country like Chattanooga, Tenn. and Cleveland, Ohio. The idea-sharing and new resources could help Champlain expand its programs in video game design, cyber-security, digital forensics and online learning, Provost noted.
Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 60 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition. Champlain was named a "Top-Up-and-Coming School" by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges and is ranked in the top tier of 2014 Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit www.champlain.edu.