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Feasibility Study for a Statewide Higher Education Information Technology Network
State of Connecticut, September 18, 1996

Recommended Technology Scenario

  • When comparing all scenarios, the recommended approach for the State of Connecticut is Scenario V - "Public ATM". Although ATM is a much newer technology than Frame Relay, ISDN, and dedicated digital lines, several benefits associated with this technology cannot be overlooked. These include:
    • Efficient handling of video and data today; Integration of voice, video, and data in the future
    • Extremely high bandwidth potential (45 Mbps offered today - 155+ Mbps in the future). This is the best technology for handling multiple real-time video communications simultaneously, which is intrinsic to distance learning.
    • A public ATM network would be easy to scale. Connectivity can be provided to higher education institutions, K-12, and libraries via either new ATM hardware or existing router technologies.
    • ATM pricing is continuously going down as more products are added to the market and the technology continues to mature. Once the legislative/budget process is finished, the design/procurement phase should face a more favorable pricing structure.
  • Scenario I - "Status Quo" is not optimal, because data services rely upon the Internet, and no medium for video services is provided under this solution. Scenario II - "Status Quo plus video" introduces a new technology into the higher education environment (ISDN) that most likely will be accompanied by exorbitant costs. Scenario III - "Private Frame Relay" is costly to manage and lacks the fault tolerance provided by a public service. Furthermore, a privately maintained voice network will most likely have minimal (if any) cost savings (once design / maintenance / management of the network is taken into account). Finally, Scenario IV - "Public Frame Relay" is limited to T1 speeds in most areas, and is not a strategic direction for video services.

Executive Summary
Table of Contents
12 Current Situation
13 Problem Statement and Impact Analysis
16 Benefits of a Statewide Network
17 Applications of a Statewide Network-Other States
18 Applications of a Statewide Network-Connecticut
20 Possible Technology Scenarios
21 Recommended Technology Scenario
22 Costing Model - Assumptions
23 Scope of Cost Model
25 Cost of Recommended Technology Scenario
26 Other Recommendations
30 Implementation Strategy

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