12.13.2023

Day 5: MCNC and value of RENs in the United States

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Research and Education Networks, or RENs, are the engine for innovation in the United States. 

The Quilt Day 5

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RENs are high-speed, data-communications networks that are independent of the commercial internet and dedicated to meeting the more demanding needs of the academic and research communities. RENs work together to collectively advance common public service missions and are vastly different than Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who connect homes and neighborhoods.

Research and education infrastructure is a critical component to every state’s broadband plan and complements our nation’s continuous efforts to provide a high-speed technology foundation for inclusion, innovation, discovery, and global competitiveness. Learn more about RENs.

MCNC and The Quilt

MCNC is one of the largest and oldest RENs in the United States and is a proud member of The Quilt, which is national coalition of RENs representing currently 43 networks across the country. 

Nationally, members of The Quilt provide high-speed connectivity, advanced network services and applications to more than 900 universities and thousands of other educational and community anchor institutions. Through the collaborative forum of The Quilt, member organizations have access to a broader set of expertise and knowledge than any single organization working on its own. 

MCNC President and CEO Tracy Doaks currently serves on The Quilt’s Executive Committee and is chair of The Quilt’s CEO Roundtable. MCNC also annually contributes to The Quilt Circle magazine that comes out every spring. Click here to view this year’s issue as well as archived issues.

RENs Drive Innovation

RENs play an important role in the future of research and education as data generation and consumption continue to grow exponentially. Advances in networking technologies, such as software-defined networking, A.I., quantum computing, and more will enable RENs to become more flexible, scalable and adaptable to the ever-changing needs of researchers and educators.

RENs are critical cyberinfrastructure for the advancement of knowledge and the development of innovative solutions to global challenges. The networks allow researchers, teachers and students to share digital information in a reliable and timely fashion. They avoid the congestion, delays, interruptions, and limitations of public internet services. And, they have dedicated capacity and end-to-end support for high-bandwidth applications. RENs like MCNC are designed to move huge amounts of data quickly, reliably and securely; to accelerate scientific discovery in order to solves the big issues facing our world. They work together in a way that commercial providers cannot and play a huge role in diminishing the gaps between the haves and have-nots.

Millions of people in North Carolina, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers and individuals at other vital public-serving institutions, rely on MCNC to connect with each other and the world. When organizations choose to work with a REN, they are not just choosing an ISP; they are choosing to be a part of a much broader community that brings massive value and savings to customers.

Return to the 13th annual 12 Days of Broadband >>>

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