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Frequently Asked Questions

The following will guide you through the answers to our most frequently asked questions. Click each question to view the answer. If you can’t find the right answer or you don’t see your question listed, please e-mail us at getconnected@cteducation.net

Blue box with quote that reads: CEN is the best. I have been extremely happy being part of your network [from the beginning] and appreciated the excellent support provided when situations called for it. Charlie Taylor IT Manager, Kent Center School, Kent

Membership

What is CEN?

CEN is Connecticut’s premier partner for high-performance internet services. We accelerate the progress of our members by providing reliable, low latency, high-speed networking services. We are the provider of choice for organizations that demand exceptional value, performance, and highly personalized service.

CEN’s fiber footprint extends to every community in the state. CEN’s high performance network is “open access,” and any Connecticut organization can join and reap the benefits.

Contact Us to learn more about how CEN can benefit your organization.

How is CEN different from any other ISP?

CEN differs from other ISPs in numerous ways including network design and performance, pricing and billing, and customer service.

Why CEN?

  • Cost Savings- CEN’s Cost Recovery model provides lower pricing, more included services, and larger feature sets as compared to other for-profit ISPs.
  • Performance- CEN’s scalable, resilient network design offers an unmatched combination of performance attributes for speed, latency, reliability, and security.
  • Personalized Service- CEN’s Connecticut based team backs its members with 24/7/365 Network Operations Center and access to senior technical staff for the most consistent, local, expert service available.

Contact Us to learn more about CEN’s products, services, and pricing.

Is CEN part of the state government?

Yes, CEN is a state organization governed by Connecticut’s Commission for Educational Technology. Created by state statute in 2000, the State of Connecticut owns the network assets. CEN staff is employed by the University of Connecticut. Operationally, CEN is a self-sustaining organization and does not receive any funding from the State of Connecticut.

Who make up the CEN Board of Directors?

CEN is governed by the Connecticut Commission for Educational Technology whose members can be found on their site, CET.

Name/Position Representing/Appointed By
Mark Raymond, CIO, Chairman Department of Administrative Services (DAS)
Catherine Smith, Commissioner Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)
Michael Mundrane, CIO University of Connecticut (UConn)
Ken Wiggin, State Librarian Connecticut State Library (CSL)
Ellen Cohn, Deputy Commissioner Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE)
John Vittner, Director IT Policy Office of Policy and Management (OPM)
Scott Zak, Senior Director of Learning Technologies CT Board of Regents for Higher Education
Bill Vallee, State Broadband Policy and Program Coordinator Office of Consumer Counsel
Jennifer Widness, President CT Conference of Independent Colleges
Nick Caruso, Senior Staff Associate CT Association of Boards of Education
Scott Shanley, General Manager, Town of Manchester CT Conference of Municipalities
John Elsesser, Town Manager, Town of Coventry CT Council of Small Towns
Colleen Bailie, Director, West Haven Public Library CT Library Association
Bart Stanco, Vice President, Gartner Governor's Office
Russell Feinmark, CT General Assembly Speaker of the House
Rich Mavrogeanes, President, Discovery Video President Pro Tem of the Senate
VACANT Minority Leader of the Senate
Charles Dumais, Superintendent, Region 5 (Amity) Public Schools Governor's Office
Tom Dillon, Founder, Flagship Networks Minority Leader of the House

Who can become a CEN member?

CEN is open access and available to any organization in Connecticut. Our membership currently includes organizations from public and private K-12, higher education, health care, government and municipalities, libraries, public safety, non-profits, and for-profit businesses.

Contact Us to learn more about becoming a CEN member.

Where is CEN located?

CEN's office is located at 55 Farmington Avenue in Hartford.

When does my service agreement with CEN end?

CEN members enter into a Network Access Service Agreement (NASA) that defines our fiscal and operating year as July 1 - June 30. Most members enter into one year agreements. Multi-year agreements are also available.

Does CEN provide educational opportunities?

Yes, CEN’s Education and Development Council comprises member representatives from all verticals (K-12, higher education, government and municipalities, libraries, open access). It is this council’s charge to develop programming to support the annual Member Conference and regular training events.

Prior training events have focused on topics including:

  • IPv6 Adoption
  • IPv4 Multicast Routing
  • Performance Measurement Infrastructure
  • Advanced BGP/AS Boundary Routing
  • Security
  • DDoS
  • VMware/Virtualization
  • SDN/OpenFlow

Does CEN host an annual conference?

Yes, CEN has been hosting an annual member conference since 2013. With over 550 attendees, 40 sponsors, industry leader speakers, and dozens of sessions, the event has grown and matured into a premier training, networking, and community building event. The event is held in early May at the CT Convention Center.

Contact Us to learn more about CEN’s Member Conference.

Billing

Does CEN have different pricing for different types of organizations? Are Prices Negotiable?

CEN offers the same bandwidth tier and services pricing to all members regardless of organization type. Because CEN’s capital assets are funded with public bond monies, for-profit and private organizations may be charged for any equipment deployed for their application.

CEN’s prices are not negotiable. However, members find that our billing policies are much more flexible and accommodating compared to other service providers. For example, CEN offers a burstable connection without any rate limiting. CEN also does not charge for overages, unless it is extensive and sustained. Bandwidth tier pricing is announced by December each year and bandwidth commitments are updated in April-June for the start of the new fiscal year in July.

To learn more and to receive a quote for CEN services, Contact Us

What forms of payment does CEN accept?

Currently, CEN accepts payment for services via check or ACH bank transfer. To request ACH payment please contact the CEN business office at GetConnected@CTEducation.net.

What is the billing contract period for CEN services?

The billing contract period for CEN services is our fiscal year, July 1 - June 30. Services are automatically renewed for the next fiscal year unless the member notifies CEN in the 60 day period prior to July 1.  Any changes to a member’s bandwidth tier commitment(s) for the fiscal year are agreed upon in the months prior to July 1. Member’s can request bandwidth increases and/or additional services at any time by contacting our Member Relations team.

Contact Us with any questions related to your services and their billing.

What are my billing options?

CEN provides annual or quarterly billing options. Our default billing method is quarterly in arrears with the exception of Q4 invoices, which are sent prior to the end of the quarter for the convenience of our customers. Upgrades and disconnects are invoiced or refunded during the billing period following the upgrade or disconnect. Other billing arrangements can be made to accommodate member institution’s needs.

How are CEN Invoices delivered?

CEN invoices are emailed directly from the State of Connecticut billing system, Core-CT. Please be sure to add corect@po.state.ct.us to your safe senders list to avoid any issues.

Can CEN bill multiple departments at our institution?

Currently, CEN can only have one billing contact per invoice . We do offer the ability to combine invoices for customer with multiple members into one itemized invoice. These invoices will reflect total cost for all entities.

Where do I mail payment for CEN services?

Checks should be made payable to “Treasurer – State of Connecticut” and mailed to:

State of Connecticut
Department of Administrative Services – AR Section
450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 1101
Hartford, CT 06103

Please email getconnected@cteducation.net to request a copy of our W-9.

Services

Where can I find information on CEN Services

CEN offers a growing list of services across five major areas: Internet Services, Security, Research SupportE-Rate Support, and Internet2.

CEN’s Services Management Advisory Council comprises members from all member groups. We invited any member to join this council to help determine CEN’s future services offerings.

Contact Us  to learn more about our services and how we can help your organization.

Can a member institution connect multiple locations?

Yes, CEN can provide solutions for members with multiple campus locations. We provide multi-location solutions for a number of our members either as multiple, standard connections, or as a virtual private network between campus locations with one “border” to the outside world. More information is available on the Private Ethernet page (with link to Private Ethernet page in Services)

CEN can also provide connections to locations outside Connecticut.

Contact Us  for more information and to receive a quote.

Can CEN provide a network testing port to bypass member’s LAN?

Yes, we can provide a test port to bypass a member’sLAN.  Please contact our Network Operations Center (NOC) at getconnected@cteducation.net or call 860-622-4560, option 1.  The member will need to provide a copper SFP for the connection.  The member can then use a laptop or other device to assign one of their unused IP addresses within your current connection to test directly from our equipment.  This port will allow for testing outside the LAN without interrupting services to the LAN.  This can be helpful if poor performance problems are rooted in a malfunctioning firewall, content filter, packet shaper, or other LAN device.

SpeedTest.net results indicate a lower bandwidth than expected. Why?

There can be several reasons SpeedTest.net tests return low results.

  • The speedtest.net browser test application lists throughput in Layer3 values; however, circuits CEN procures also must carry Layer 1 and Layer 2 portions of the path. This additional overhead can result in tests showing 5-7% lower than actual circuit speed.
  • If the SpeedTest.net server’s traffic flows through congested peering points results can be erratic. Pay close attention to which server is selected when running the test and which remote network hosts the server. These details can help the CEN Global NOC troubleshoot any congestion issues. It’s also often helpful to test with multiple SpeedTest.net servers to try and replicate poor performance issues.
  • CEN also suggests verifying performance using the DSLreports.com test.
  • LAN traffic will contend equally with the SpeedTest.net traffic. If the LAN Is currently generating 50Mbps of traffic. Normal use must be accounted when interpreting test results.

Contact Us for help with your connection or visit our Network Tools page for more information.

Does CEN offer a CIPA compliant web filtering service?

Yes, CEN's web filtering service provides members with an internet content filtering solution that meets the requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act and the standards required for E-Rate subsidy funding.

More info: Web Filtering page

Does CEN offer DNS hosting services?

CEN provides DNS hosting services for members at no additional charge. DNS hosting is part of our Network Control Grid suite of services. More information is available on the DNS Hosting page.

Members can contact our Network Operations Center (NOC) at getconnected@cteducation.net  or call 860-622-4560, option 1, for help with DNS.

How do I have you add a DNS record for my domain that is hosted by CEN?

Contact us for more information.

How long will it take for DNS changes to take effect?

Generally speaking it could take up to 24 hours for changes to be visible across the Internet. It depends on the TTL value of the DNS record. If you contact us in advance of a planned change, we may be able to adjust force old values to expire more quickly.

Members can contact our Network Operations Center (NOC) at getconnected@cteducation.net or call 860-622-4560, option 1, for help with DNS.

Can CEN add a PTR (reverse DNS) record for a member?

CEN can add PTR records for IP Addresses that CEN has assigned to members. Members can contact our Network Operations Center (NOC) at getconnected@cteducation.net or call 860-622-4560, option 1, for help with DNS.

Does CEN re-sell other providers’ internet service?

CEN utilizes multiple Tier 1 Internet Service Providers as one of the building blocks of CEN’s services. The multiple Tier 1 providers ensure a high level of resiliency for CEN’s members. The other building blocks layered with the Tier 1 service include multiple network and security services, a unique network design, and local service. The total package provides members exceptional value beyond what is offered by other providers.

Does CEN offer any cloud services?

CEN offers multiple options for connecting members to cloud service providers, for both compute and storage needs. CEN provides the path, or transport, from members to both public and private cloud providers. This includes cloud resources in Connecticut and the “big 3” cloud providers: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. More information is available on the Cloud Connect page.

Contact Us for help in connecting to your cloud service provider.

Does CEN provide graphs of my institution’s network use?

Yes, all members have access to their network usage graphs in the Network Tools page. CEN encourages members to utilize these graphs to forecast their CEN bandwidth tier for their internal budgeting process. CEN Member Relations team members review the graphs with members at least annually to agree on bandwidth commitments.

Contact Us to connect with the Member Relations Team on network use and bandwidth commitment options.

Does CEN provide NTP Servers?

CEN provides NTP servers for its members: IPv4 and IPv6

Does CEN have a streaming service?

CEN does not offer a fully supported, general streaming service at this time.

Does CEN offer managed firewall services?

Yes, CEN offers a hosted, co-managed firewall service. It features enterprise class technology, threat prevention service, and a high-availability, geographically diverse architecture. More information is available on the Managed Firewall page.

Contact Us (with link to Contact Us form) to learn more about a Managed Firewall Service solution for your organization.

Where can Members find CEN’s fiber map?

Does CEN offer high speed optical fiber services?

CEN offers its statewide, fiber optic network for high-speed, dedicated, protocol-agnostic, optical transport.

Contact Us to learn more and to receive a quote.

Video Conferencing

What Video Conference Services are available?

CEN offers video teleconferencing services to its members throughout its Cisco Telepresence Video Core at no charge to members. This service provides an easy way for multiple parties to connect through a high quality, high definition, real time video conference.  Any device that supports SIP/H323 can be added to our telepresence network.

Contact Us to learn more about CEN’s Video Conferencing Service.

Do I need a dedicated connection for video conferencing?

Yes, CEN membership is required to take advantage of this free service.

Does CEN offer video room system support?

Yes, through registration of video end point, any local network or room resource requirements are provided by member.

Security

Is CEN Secure?

CEN operates a statewide, private network for its members. Traffic passing between CEN members and selected in-state peers does not traverse the public Internet, which improves performance, reliability and security. This provides an additional layer of security for our members but is not a replacement for end-to-end encryption of sensitive data.

CEN provides 24/7 DDoS Mitigation Services at no additional charge to its members.

For those with demanding security needs, CEN can also provide layer 2, layer 3 and site-to-site VPN services for members, often at no additional charge.

CEN's Managed Firewall Services provides enterprise class technology to protect members with a first line of defense against malicious internet traffic.

E-Rate

Does CEN participate in the E-Rate program?

Yes, CEN is a participating internet service provider in the E-Rate program. Our 498 ID (formerly SPIN) is: 143049066. CEN is happy to respond to all Form 470 requests from any of our K12 and Library members or those eligible for membership. For more information refer to our E-Rate Information page.

Who do I contact at CEN with E-Rate questions?

CEN’s Member Relations team would be happy to help you with your E-Rate questions. They can be reached at getconnected@cteducation.net or 860-622-4560, option 5.

How does CEN bill for E-Rate approved discounts?

Participants in the E-Rate program can chose one of two methods to receive their discount:

  1. SPI – CEN will discount customer invoices directly
  2. BEAR – Invoices are billed in full and customer gets reimbursement from USAC directly

It is the decision of each customer how they would like to be billed, however you can only use one method per funding year. Once your Form 471 is approved, reach out to your consultant or email billing@cteducation.net directly to specify your preference.

Additional information on E-Rate billing methods is available at: E-Rate Invoicing.

Support

How do members contact CEN when having a technical problem?

CEN members, if you have a problem you would like to report, you may do so by calling:

(860) 622-4560 and choosing option 1 for GlobalNOC Service Desk

or send an email through our Contact Us page.

The GlobalNOC Service Desk is the first point of contact for all network issues. They support our network 24x7x365 allowing CEN to ensure reliable operations services.

We strive to provide at least a week’s worth of notice for any planned maintenance work.  If you wish to be informed of these instances, please join CEN's Maintenance Notification list or consult our calendar link which includes all maintenance, scheduled and unscheduled on the network are listed (problems/ resolutions).

 

I need to make a change to my institution’s CEN services. What do I do next?

Please contact us and we will route your request to the appropriate CEN team member.

How do I make changes to our contact information?

CEN’s Member Relations team can help you with these requests and many others. They can be reached at 860-622-4560, option 5, or at getconnected@cteducation.net.

TO LEARN MORE:

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