CEN Connect is a program that provides direct investment in middle-mile broadband infrastructure in support of Connecticut's municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, healthcare, open access, and cultural arts institutions, through upgrades and expansion of the Connecticut Education Network (CEN). In addition, the program offers grant funding opportunities to attach to the CEN platform for Community Wi-Fi access to CT citizens in need.
Program funding is made available as part of Governor Lamont's Connecticut Plan for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Learn more about the projects' features and benefits to CEN member organizations and Connecticut citizens on the pages below or contact CEN Member Services.
Next Generation Infrastructure
CEN CONNECT - Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI) Provides a comprehensive update to expand capacity, increase speeds, further lower latency, and support long term growth in Internet use. The NGI project impacts the over 670 currently connected members providing connectivity to thousands of community anchor institutions (CAIs) and nearly 1.9M Connecticut citizens. It also serves as the backbone for new institutional members, and an attachment point for high performance Community WiFi.
The resultant CEN NGI network will offer current and future CEN member organizations significant benefits including:
- Increasing member handoff by 4X-40X current capability (1G – 100G)
- Providing true dedicated service to every CAI connected
- Bringing Nx100G backbone network capability to every CT community
- Enabling automation and telemetry for greater visibility and control
- Unmatched reliability, resiliency, scalability, and security tailored to CAIs
Connecting Connecticut's Communities Initiative
CEN CONNECT - Municipalities, Libraries, and Charter Schools offers 97 municipalities, 6 Council of Governments (COG), 63 libraries, and 14 charter schools fiber-based, high-capacity CEN Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) service. CEN's DIA service is uniquely designed for CAIs as it provides a host of benefits: greater scale, monitoring, collaboration, and cyber security protections against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that cripple networks and halt operations, government service delivery, learning, research, and other essential operations.
Community Wireless (Wi-Fi)
CEN CONNECT - Community Wireless (Wi-Fi) is a competitive sub-grant Community Wi-fi project administered by CEN. Expanding on the 2020 successful launch of the community wireless components of the Governor's Everybody Learns Initiative, Community Wireless Phase 2 will offer connectivity options to all Connecticut residents, both urban and rural, and target underserved, typically economically disadvantaged groups and communities of color in each municipality.