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  1. A Tale of Two Fiber Networks Bonnie Baranowski, Colleges of the Fenway Donna Baron, Five Colleges, Incorporated

  2. A Tale of Two Fiber Networks. Copyright Bonnie Baranowski and Donna Baron, 2005 This work is the intellectual property of the authors. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the authors.

  3. Five Colleges, Incorporated • Established 1965 – to offer more for less • Amherst College • Hampshire College • Mount Holyoke College • Smith College • University of Massachusetts Amherst • Close Proximity in Rural Western Mass • 25,000 undergraduates, 2,000 faculty • http://www.fivecolleges.edu

  4. Major Features of Cooperation • Student Interchange • Faculty and Curricular Development • Libraries and Information Technology • Administrative Collaboration • Transportation

  5. History of Fiber Build • January 2001 – Top Campus IT Priorities: • Bandwidth • Staffing • January 2002 – Infrastructure Report • Current networking, future bandwidth requirements, Internet connectivity strategies, technology, management and governance options

  6. Study Recommendations:Solve the Local Loop Problem • Fiber infrastructure connecting campuses to carrier-neutral long haul facility in Springfield • Centralized telecom support structure • Internet2 for all five schools • Bandwidth management tools • Northern CrossRoads (NOX)

  7. Governance and Cost Sharing • Decision by Consensus – Time, Tending, Trust • Philosophically 5ths Formula • Structure • Five Colleges, Inc. Board of Directors - MOU • Five College Net, LLC – Manager • Academic Deans, Principal Business Officers • Information Technology Governing Board • Technical Advisory Committee • SLA with University of Massachusetts Amherst

  8. All That Fiber . . . • Joint Data Network - GigE to start • MESH - connecting every possible combination of the schools for ad-hoc research and experimentation • Individual campus connections to Springfield • Joint excess dark fiber for future growth

  9. The Benefits • Vastly Increase Bandwidth, Services, Flexibility • Add Redundant Links • Avoid New Costs • Research, Education, Collaboration • Enhance Five College Collaboration • Internet2, NEREN, National LambdaRail • Economic Development Potential

  10. Request For Bids (RFB)Dark Optical Fiber Network • Lease, lease-to-own, design and build • RFB at 30% design – looking for bids to bring project to 60% design • Pathway Selection, Licensing, Permitting • Engineering • Construction • Technical Requirements • Unit Rates for Everything!

  11. RFB Process • Review Team • Bidder’s Conference • Vendor Negotiations – Budget Development! • Contract Negotiations • Permitting, spans, testing, retainer • Schedule, liquidated damages • Unit rates for adds and deducts • Purchase of materials • Project Management

  12. One-Time Budget Legal Fiber Optic Cable Engineering Consulting/Project Mgmt Utility Applications Make-Ready and Permitting Police Construction Contingency Recurring Budget Network Maintenance Equipment Replacement Equipment Maintenance FOC Maintenance Attachment/Conduit Fees Emergency Restoration Dig Safe Mark-outs Miscellaneous One-time and Recurring Budgets

  13. Where Are We Now? • Licensing and Right-of-Way • Seven Towns • Five Utilities • Numerous State Agencies • Pioneer Valley Connect • State Representatives • Make-Ready released this month • Lighting Segments Summer 05 – January 06

  14. Lessons Learned Donna Baron Director, Information Technology Five Colleges, Incorporated Dlbaron@fivecolleges.edu

  15. Colleges of the Fenway - 1996 • Emmanuel • Simmons • The Massachusetts College of Art • The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences • Wheelock • Wentworth Institute of Technology • 11,500 students (12% of Boston student population) Goal: add value to student academic and social life while seeking innovative methods of investing in new services and containing the costs of higher education http://www.colleges-fenway.org

  16. Major Features of Cooperation Academic • Cross registration • Joint Environmental Sciences Major • Global Educational Opportunities Center • Annual Teaching and Learning Conference Students Activities • COF Orchestra • Intramural program • Fall opening week program, spring weekend and other social events Administrative • Guidance Counselor Tours • Joint insurance programs: student health, property and liability • Contracts: vending, payroll processing, Temp Agency

  17. History of COFAN • 1998 – Study by Technical Development Corp. • 1999 – IT Planning Committee • Network, training, helpdesk, distance learning, common administrative applications • 2000 – IBM/Blackwell Study • 2001 – applied for $2.1 million grant to build network • 2002 – Grant received • develop network design and issue RPF (not covered by the grant) • 2003 – RFP issued and contract awarded • 2004 – Network live in July

  18. Why Build a network? • Geography • Backbone and foundation for other initiatives • Enhanced Internet connectivity (capacity and redundancy) at lower cost • Potential for Internet 2 • Potential for joint contracts for voice and cable TV • Evidence of IT collaboration and momentum for other projects • Increase technical knowledge and support on the campuses

  19. COFAN • 12 pairs of fiber to each college • Redundant core (CISCO 6509s) • CISCO 3550 at each college • Lease Dark Fiber from RCN for physical redundancy • COF employees: Director for IT Initiatives and Network Manager • Internet Access – ISP for Colleges • Registered with ARIN for AS number and IP block • 200 mgs, 2 providers • 3 times individual contracts at ½ cost

  20. Governance and Cost Sharing • Creation of the IT Executive Advisory Board (2002) • 2 members from each college: 2 Presidents, 2 CAOs, 5 CFOs, 3 IT Directors • Incorporation of Colleges of the Fenway, Inc. as a 501 (c)3 (2003) • Agreements between Colleges and COF, Inc. • Fixed costs: split by six • Variable: by usage

  21. One-Time Budget (Grant) Construction Fiber Optic Cable Electronics Project Mgmt Legal NOC construction Offices Back Up strategy Campus Upgrades Operating Budget Salaries Maintenance Fiber & electronics Depreciation 24 x 7 monitoring Rent (NOCs & Offices) Contingency Misc., office supplies Legal One-time and Recurring Budgets

  22. Benefits and other outcomes • Internet capacity • Building culture of collaboration • “We are Colleges of the Fenway” • Monthly meeting: IT Directors, Network Managers, Help Desk Managers • Task Forces: • Common Course Management System • One Card System • Shared Administrative System • Joint End User training • Shared Help Desk Services

  23. Benefits and other outcomes (cont) • Benefits to colleges: • Increased internet capacity – potential to spike to 200 mgs, the previous maximum was 3mgs for one college • Development of community among IT groups • Simmons: connect main and residence campuses, eliminate T1s • Wheelock: connect Riverway and Brookline campuses, eliminate T1s

  24. Lessons Learned Bonnie Baranowski Director, Information Technology Initiatives Colleges of the Fenway, Inc. BBaranowski@colleges-fenway.org