From the Director

From the Director: Summer Newsletter 2021

Ryan Kocsondy
CEN Director

I hope we are all taking a sigh of relief as we put what may be the most challenging academic and calendar years behind us.  It may be hard to describe recent events sometimes, but some of our pandemic go-to phrases may suffice: ‘unprecedented’, ‘transformative’, ‘we’re in this together’, ‘wash your hands’, ‘new normal’, ‘virtual <insert any word here>’, and last but not least ‘you’re on mute’.  Whew, thank goodness that is out of the way.

As everyone has dealt with the pandemic in their own way, we have a chance to look back at what has been a crazy and hectic year for education, work, play, stress, rest, relaxation, and just life in general.  Some recent successes:

The return of the CEN Annual Conference, where we and more than 420 attendees participated in the three-day online event.  We received lots of positive feedback, mostly due to the awesome content and insights provided, vetted, and delivered by our community.  We look forward to seeing new proposals and returning to an in-person event on May 5, 2022 at the Hartford Convention Center.

The CEN community continues to grow. With more than 650 community anchor institutions participating in the Network, we also took the opportunity to give back through a 2% rate reduction starting July 1, 2021.  The reduction in rates and continued high quality service model help deliver on our primary goal of ‘Provide Value’ in our community driven CEN Strategic Plan implemented in 2019.

CEN technical staff are as busy as ever rolling out The Governor’s Everyone Learns Initiative WiFi locations in partnership with our community members. The Hub Site Upgrades project is well underway, rolling out additional 100G capacity to our busiest backbones and improving visibility, telemetry, and security of the CEN broadband infrastructure.

The CEN community has performed well overall and helped position Connecticut as a leader in the pandemic response.  The physical network sustained the new demands of remote and hybrid learning, work, and telemedicine. The ‘human network’ has also really proven its resiliency, reliability, and flexibility to get things done and make the best of the situation.

This summer will hopefully prove to be relaxing for most, as we all try and get some much-needed time to rejuvenate and work on projects and tasks on the near horizon.

Kudos and a big THANK YOU to all the IT professionals and leaders out there helping it all come together.


Happy Summer everyone,

Ryan Kocsondy


2020 Member Conference Canceled


We have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Member Conference scheduled in Hartford on October 6-7.  

In light of the continuing challenges and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the unpredictability of travel restrictions, budgetary challenges, and the ongoing health and safety concerns of our membership, the EDAC in conjunction with CEN leadership felt holding the event as scheduled is unrealistic and impractical. All conference registrants will receive a full refund with the details below.  

While we are not meeting this October for our in-person conference, we ask you to still join us for our virtual UNconference series.  Social distancing may keep us physically apart, but we still want to help keep our community connected, provide timely content, and offer a forum for sharing.  We will be hosting monthly virtual sessions with content driven by members; stay tuned for more information and registration at 

To submit a session proposal for the CEN Member UNconference click here, create an account, and complete the requested form.


Ryan Kocsondy 

Director | CEN 

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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 ( 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

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  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 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 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. 




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 



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  


Ryan Kocsondy 

Director | CEN 

Scholarships Support Diversity and Inclusion in Information Technology at 2019 Internet2 Global Summit

Internet2 announced today seven recipients of scholarships aimed at increasing the meaningful participation of underrepresented information technology professionals, from both the national and global research and education communities, ahead of its annual meeting, the Internet2 Global Summit event, taking place in Washington, D.C. from March 5-8.

The scholarship recipients are:

  • Rachael Collard, publicity and marketing coordinator, Connecticut Education Network