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Board of Governors approves network master plan

The following message was sent to the Rutgers IT community on April 7, 2020.

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that the Board of Governors has approved a master plan for the Rutgers network—a significant milestone for improving the university’s technology infrastructure and enabling next-generation innovations in teaching, learning, research, and service.

The master plan charts a 10-year course toward a faster, more resilient Rutgers network with ubiquitous wireless connectivity. The plan includes these improvements, among others:

  • Under the plan, the network “core”—essentially the backbone of the network—will be 10 times faster, increasing from 10 Gb/s to 100 Gb/s. Meanwhile, the network endpoints will be 10 to 100 times faster, depending on the location; they would increase from 10 or 100 Mbp/s to 1 Gb/s.
  • When complete, wireless connectivity will blanket nearly every part of every Rutgers campus and location, both indoors and outdoors, bringing Wi-Fi to parking lots, green spaces, and other areas currently lacking wireless.
  • The addition of key redundancies and other much-needed improvements will greatly increase network resiliency and reliability.

Greater throughput at every point across the network will ensure consistently responsive connections and fast data transfer, even at the busiest of times. The network improvements will also speed the completion of computationally demanding research, enhancing Rutgers’ ability to compete for research grants available exclusively to institutions with world-class network capacity.

As the Board of Governors resolution approving the master plan acknowledges, our current network infrastructure is underfunded and has a number of shortcomings. The 10-year network master plan approved by the board ensures the Rutgers network will be modern, reliable, and fast—essentially, that it will be up to the task of supporting the daily operations of a major public research university.

Upgrade implementation will be strategically distributed over the next decade to minimize disruptions and stagger the need for future upgrades. This will produce a measured, steady flow of significant improvements, carefully targeted where they’re needed most, and distributed among the university’s locations and units.

To finance this work, annual network expenditures will rise $7 million a year over the next five years and then settle at $35 million above the baseline budget.

To learn more, please visit the Network Master Plan website.

Best regards,

Michele Norin
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer

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