July 28, 2014

UW System working on high speed upgrades

The UW System is planning to start up its own internet service to provide for the campus system and its affiliates.

Spokesman Dave Giroux says the System is making a required transition away from the WiscNet Service and will “create an information network to serve the needs of all 26 campuses, including UW-Madison, where we’re doing world class research that has very specific, very high demands for internet connectivity.”

The move will take anywhere from 14 to 18 months as the school system plans cable and fiber connections to all the campuses. Giroux says they’re working to entirely overhaul their service. “We have some very unique, very specific needs. Data security is one of them, capacity is another, affordability is also another factor, and we’re going to build the network with all those factors in mind.”

State legislators voted to sever the school from WiscNet in 2011, and the University is now moving forward with a plan to build the new service at a cost of $33 million over the next five years. Giroux says the plan will take a bit longer than the new law will allow for. “It’s well known what we’re working on, and the direction we’re moving in. Most of the legislators we’ve talked to are happy with the direction, and we’re hopeful that means they’ll be willing to give us those statutory extensions.”

Campuses will remain on WiscNet through the transition period.

Raymond Neupert, WSAU