Amy Dalrymple, Published July 10 2009
High-speed regional computer network to boost opportunitiesThe area’s research and educational opportunities will be enhanced with a new high-speed regional computer network known as the Northern Tier Network.
University officials and regional lawmakers gathered at North Dakota State University on Thursday to celebrate the state’s participation in the network that connects 13 states.
It will allow universities and other partners to transmit large amounts of data used in research.
North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, who spoke to the group via video link, said the network is essential to the Red River Valley Research Corridor.
“This unlocks significant opportunity,” Dorgan said. “And this is just a start.”
The network connects the northern states between Michigan and Washington and up to Alaska.
The Internet capabilities are 1,250 times faster than traditional cable Internet.
“It will provide us greater opportunities to fulfill our missions in education, research and outreach,” said North Dakota State University President Joseph Chapman.
- At NDSU, the network allows scientists to work with rural school districts using a $300,000 electron microscope that is controlled remotely.
- At the University of North Dakota, the new capabilities will allow the library to provide access to more audio and video files, such as high-quality videos from the UND Writer’s Conference.
- The Institute for Regional Studies at NDSU will be able to make more digital materials available to the public. Already, the institute has digital information that is equivalent to about 60,000 copies of the Bible, director John Bye said.
- UND’s Regional Weather Information Center will be able to use large amounts of data from collaborating agencies, such as state departments of transportation, for research on predicting road conditions in a snowstorm.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590