Saturday, July 20, 2002

Case Western taps high-speed network




By The Associated Press

        CLEVELAND - Starting this fall, every dorm room at Case Western Reserve University will be linked to one of the most advanced computer networks in the nation, delivering super-high speed connections to 16,000 computers on campus.

        If going to your home computer is like turning on the tap for a glass of water, the $27 million Case system will be like opening a fire hydrant.

        “This is clearly one of the most aggressive if not the most aggressive deployments” of computer technology in academia, said Steve Corbato of Internet2, a national consortium of universities working on the next generation Internet.

        The system is “switched-gig ethernet,” meaning that in every dorm room and classroom, students will have instant access to a computer system delivering 1 billion bits - one gigabit - of data per second. By comparison, the average home computer modem delivers 56,000 bits of data per second.

        Case Western, a 9,600-student research university, is contracting with Sprint and Cisco Systems, which is a primary supplier of hardware that carries Internet traffic worldwide.

        With the new system, “You can actually do full-screen, full-motion high-definition video with high-definition sound,” said the school's technology chief, Lev Gonick.

        Medical students will be able to watch surgery in real time from a remote location yet experience it as if they were in the room, he said.

        Dorm residents are charged a $400 “technology fee” besides the university's $22,500 annual tuition.

        The Case system will take about a year to complete, but it is operating in several dorms and the new building of the Weatherhead School of Management.

       



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