WVU Connects to WEST VIRGINIA 2001 Network
February 8, 1999
Ken Orgill, West Virginia University
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia University is now a key link
on the WEST VIRGINIA 2001 network, a high-speed data, video and
voice system launched in late 1997 through a partnership between state
government and Bell Atlantic.
WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. announced today that, through a
$305,000 grant from Bell Atlantic - West Virginia, the University has
established connections for the Morgantown campus and three of its four
Speaking in his annual State of the University address, Hardesty said,
"This system will significantly enhance our ability to use technology to
connect with the people of this state -- and for them to connect with us --
in ways unheard of only five years ago."
The new network, designed to link state and local government agencies,
colleges and universities across West Virginia, will make it possible for
government officials, for example, in a county courthouse to participate in
a video class originating at WVU and its regional campuses.
"West Virginia University, with its wide geographic scope and educational
resources, will be a key participant in the WEST VIRGINIA 2001
network," said Dennis Bone, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - West
Virginia. "Bell Atlantic is a strong supporter of higher education, and this
grant to WVU is one way we invest in the state's future."
The network will allow WVU users to send and receive information at
speeds up to 155 million bits per second. In other words, a 33-volume set
of encyclopedias could be sent in about six seconds, a feat that would
previously have taken hours to complete. The system uses ATM
(asynchronous transfer mode) technology to provide transmission
capability for data, voice and video simultaneously.
It will also play an important role in Hardesty's Integration 2000 plan, an
effort to achieve a closer coordination among all WVU campuses in
academic programs while achieving full integration of support systems.
The project -- with a deadline of July 1, 2000 -- includes use of a central
financial and human resources data warehouse in Morgantown, which will
consolidate this function for WVU and its regional campuses.
Ken Orgill, WVU chief information officer commented, "Our ability to
interact in a variety of ways with the regional campuses will be
significantly enhanced by the WEST VIRGINIA 2001 project. For
example, with the massive bandwidth from the new network, WVU
Morgantown could install and support a new e-mail system, and the
regional campuses could use it with almost no performance degradation.
Additionally, there would be significant cost savings to the regionals,
since the support and maintenance would be absorbed by the Morgantown
Additionally, WVU will soon become part of the Next Generation
Internet, a national program to upgrade Internet communications
introduced by the Clinton administration in 1996. Also, the University is
the only state institution to be a full member of Internet2, a collaboration
of research universities to create a new high-speed network dedicated only
to scientific research.
WVU's Morgantown campus, WVU-Parkersburg, WVU Institute of
Technology and the Charleston Division of the WVU Health Science
Center are all part of the WEST VIRGINIA 2001 network. Potomac State
College of WVU is due to join the network soon.