Spring Newsletter

Ryan Kocsondy
CEN Director

We are living through extraordinary times as the COVID-19 crisis impacts us in many ways daily. With many more changes in front of us, I’d like to share a  few words of recognition and appreciation for the tremendous efforts so far.

As Connecticut’s citizens have adapted to the new work and learn from home environment, we see exceptional measures of service, collaboration, and accomplishment across the state. CEN community members are working quickly to provide products and services to facilitate remote work, compliance, and equitable access.  State university facilities have been transformed into field hospitals. Quality technology and network access solutions are needed everywhere in making these transformations possible.

CEN has also been transformed to manage all aspects of its network operation and to continue moving forward on all initiatives. Our team has been mobilized to work from home with the ability to securely access all mission critical systems. We are pressing ahead on all projects and utilizing remote tools and resources as needed. Continue to expect from the team the same responsive, effective, personal service for all of your member needs.

I am very proud of our member focused efforts through these challenging times. Stories of people’s passion and commitment impress me daily. Please feel free to share with me your stories, needs, and concerns. I can be reached at rk@uconn.edu or (860) 622-4563.

Stay connected and stay well.

View Spring Newsletter

Ryan

CEN Member Conference Postponed

CEN Member Conference Postponed
October 6-7, 2020, Hartford, CT

In consultation with CEN’s Engagement and Development Advisory Council (EDAC) and considering the circumstances related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we’ve decided to postpone the 8th CEN Member Conference to October 6-7, 2020.

Based on the latest information from the Governor’s office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local health departments related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including specific guidance for large events, community gatherings, and travel, we cannot risk holding the meeting and potentially putting the health of our community members, staff, and the surrounding public in danger. With no certainty on the expected duration of this health crisis, we feel it is best to postpone the event to protect all.

We will continue to promote the event, accept rolling registrations, and work with presenters and sponsors in preparation for the new October date. Hopefully by then, we can come together as a community to celebrate our 20 years of collective growth and success. Many thanks to our members and partners for all their efforts in building an expanded 2020 Member Conference program.

Please stay connected to the conference site for further updates. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and hope you will still be able to join us!

iboss Cloud CIPA Compliant Filtering Free for K-12 and Libraries

CEN is excited to announce the recent addition of iboss cloud CIPA compliant content filtering at no cost for K-12 and libraries and at volume pricing for other members.

The addition of iboss cloud to the portfolio will update the availability of options and provide a pathway for members to support 1:1 initiatives at scale, to support multiple operating systems in your environment, and to increase visibility and reporting without having to worry about inline appliances.

To plan your path to iboss cloud, email iboss at cen@iboss.com or call 877-742-6832. Just tell them youʼre a CEN member. Visit our From the Director webpage to view the full announcement, and check our Web Filtering page on our website in the next few days for updated content.

CEN Joins DE-CIX Internet Exchange

 

CEN has joined the fast growing DE-CIX Exchange. Founded in 1995, DE-CIXʼs is the worldʼs leading interconnection platform, managing more than 9 terabits per second peak traffic. DE-CIX New York is Open-IX certified and carrier and data center-neutral. It operates more access points than any other Internet exchange in North America.

This partnership will provide CEN Members with expanded capability by shortening the network hops for improved transport efficiency. For example, CEN’s peering with Apple via DE-CIX will enable much quicker and more efficient Apple IOS updates, as well as quicker access to the entire 17.X.X.X Apple IPv4 range.

CEN works with its members to make interconnections easy, robust, and expansive. Engaging with global partners like DE-CIX demonstrates and exemplifies CEN’s commitment to providing the highest quality services and resources to our members. For more information on DE-CIX and how it could provide enhanced services to your users, please contact CEN’s Member Relations team at 860-622-4560, option 5, or getconnected@cteducation.net.

Form 471 Deadline Extended to April 29

USAC has extended the E-Rate application filing window for Funding Year 2020 due to potential COVID-19 disruptions, as directed by the Wireline Competition Bureau. The deadline to submit FY 2020 FCC Form 471 applications is now Wednesday, April 29, 2020, at 11:59 pm EDT.

The situation will continue to be monitored to judge whether additional deadline extensions will be necessary. Applicants are encouraged to monitor USAC’s webpage (https://www.usac.org/) and newsfeed for relevant information. All applicants are encouraged, to the extent practicable, to continue to work on their applications and submit them as they are able, so that funding decisions can be made in a timely manner. For more information, please contact James Bachtell, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau at (202) 418-7400 or (202) 418-0484 (TTY), or at james.bachtell@fcc.gov.

iboss Cloud CIPA Compliant Filtering Free for K-12 and Libraries

Member Colleagues, 

I am excited to announce the recent addition of iboss cloud CIPA content filter at no cost for K-12 and libraries and at volume pricing for other members. This was also mentioned on the CET_K12_EdTech listserv last week (3/12) in support of 1:1 initiatives and preparations surrounding COVID-19 related closures and online learning.  

The addition of iboss cloud to the portfolio will update the availability of options and provide a pathway for members to support 1:1 initiatives at scale, to support multiple operating systems in your environment, and to increase visibility and reporting without having to worry about inline appliances.  The CEN iboss Cloud offering provides core features such as CIPA compliant web filter, SSL inspection, safe search enforcement, granular reporting, You Tube and social media controls, and the ability to help identify students at risk.  In addition, we have also included scale pricing for classroom management as well as items for all members such as malware protection and data loss prevention.   

  • Please feel free to reach out to iboss at cen@iboss.com  or by calling 877-742-6832 to plan your path to the cloud!  Just tell them you’re CEN Member.   
  • The CEN new web page is being built now and will be posted as soon as possible.  Please check https://ctedunet.net/web-filtering/ in the next few days for updated content. 

If you have any questions please contact me or the member relations team at  

(860) 622-4560, option 5.  

Ryan Kocsondy 

CEN Director 

(860) 622-4563 

CEN Member Assistance During COVID-19 Crisis

CEN Member Assistance During COVID-19 Crisis

Member Colleagues, 

 

CEN has been working to understand the implications of the COVID-19 crisis and its effect on IT responsibilities for business continuity, remote telework, and distance learning.  To that end, we want to ensure all IT leaders are aware of the following programmatic initiatives to help our members during this time. 

  • CEN does not limit or cap any bandwidth to its members and makes available the full capacity of the connection to CEN. 
  • CEN will not charge any member for increased utilization on existing ports through the end of the fiscal year.  This should provide some comfort to our members who are trying to understand the impact of teleworking and remote learning at a level not seen to date. 
  • CEN is making available a document to IT leaders regarding the shift to remote learning and working offsite: “Understanding Network Impact of Increased Online Learning.  Feel free to circulate this with your leadership.   
  • CEN augmented an additional 100Gbps of aggregate commercial peering in preparation for the expected increase in online learning and teleworking. 
  • CEN will stand ready to prioritize building Layer2 Cloud access to Azure, AWS, and GCP to provide for temporary capacity in these environments. 
  • CEN engineering will prioritize COVID-19 related member activities and provide any design and implementations on an individual case basis. 

 

Last week we sent communications regarding CEN’s internal preparedness for business continuity with the COVID-19 crisis, and further communications will be released as needed.  We understand that each of our members may have individualized needs during this time, and we highly encourage direct dialogue.  The best way to initiate the process is to open a ticket with the NOC at servicedesk@cteducation.net or 860-622-4560, option 1. Please understand that this would be more consultative surrounding augmentation and implementation needs rather than a professional services engagement.    

Please remember CEN ISour membership.  Together, we have tremendous resources that can really affect outcomes. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Ryan Kocsondy 

Director | CEN 

Four Steps Towards E-Rate Connectivity and Competition

A quarter-century ago, the idea of “educational technology” popularized the notion that children would benefit if computers in schools and libraries were connected to the internet. In 1996, Congress created the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program, which provides discounts to libraries and K-12 schools to make broadband internet access more affordable […]

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CEN Statement on COVID-19

CEN Statement on COVID-19 

2020-03-09 

  

CEN is closely monitoring the COVID-19 Coronavirus and has worked to ensure business continuity in the event access to our main office and/or POP sites becomes restricted.  We have contingency plans in place to maintain operations and provide the level of support expected by the CEN community, without risking employees’ safety.  Many of the practices below are already in place as part of our standard operating practices and continuity plansPlease be aware of the following concerning CEN’s current readiness: 

  • The CEN IP network infrastructure is engineered for performance and resiliency and has the capacity to withstand additional traffic as patterns shift to accommodate member needs. 
  • The network is continually monitored for utilization and will be augmented as needed as trends shift.   
  • CEN staff may request the help of members to provide on-site assistance as ‘smart hands’ where needed and appropriate to limit travel and the potential spread of contaminants.  
  • As requested, CEN will move any member’s network configuration to any on-net location to accommodate a temporary move should the need arise. 
  • Communication to our NOC, managed through our partner GlobalNOC, will remain available during most situations. This communication includes resilient phone operations, e-mail, and ticketing out of redundant and geo-diverse data centers. 
  • Staff are empowered to work offsite during an emergency. Most day-to-day work can be completed remotely via cellular or home internet connections 
  • Staff are provided the equipment needed for extended periods of working offsite to ensure long-term success without having to be present onsite. 
  • Technical staff and leadership are designated as emergency response personnel and have greater access to resources in an emergency that may require a physical presence.  

If you or your users have any questions about business continuity, we would be happy to meet with you and discuss plans in more detail.  If you have any continuity needs that we can help with, please contact our member relations team 860-622-4560 Option 5, and we will be glad to review options.  We will work with each of your teams to better understand your specific network needs as changes occur. 

If there are any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me at any time, (860) 622-4563 or rk@uconn.edu.  

Sincerely,

Ryan Kocsondy 

Director | CEN 

Winter Newsletter

Member colleagues,

2019 was another successful year for CEN and its community as we continue to grow with additional members and services.

The rollout of our new website and introduction of new Managed Firewall Services has been widely accepted by the membership. The focus is service to our members and ensuring we promote and support innovative and state of the art platforms. We will be commemorating 20 years of CEN at this year’s conference and look forward to your help in celebrating this milestone. Please register for the Pre-Conference Workshops taking place on the 7th and the Member Conference taking place on the 8th of May 2020. I hope you had a safe and happy holiday season, and I look forward to 2020.

View the CEN Winter Newsletter!

Regards,

Ryan