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Bill St. Arnaud is a consultant and research engineer who works with clients around the world on a variety of subjects such as next generation Internet networks and developing practical solutions to reduce CO2 emissions such as free broadband and dynamic charging of eVehicles. He is an author of many papers and articles on these topics and is a frequent guest speaker. For more details on my research interests see

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The economic benefits of R&E networks and impact on broadband

[Two excellent reports on the future of R&E networks have just been released. The first is the New Zealand research and education network which has undertaken a in-depth study on the economic benefits of R&E networks. This is one of the most comprehensive and in-depth studies I have seen on the subject, and yet I think only scratches the surface in terms of the economic benefits. Besides the direct monetizable and indirect benefits, I believe R&E networks will have an even greater importance in society going forward in working with industry to pilot new ways to accelerate research outcomes from academia to industry through the use of cyber-infrastructure, validating new network business models, facilitating new broadband solutions for consumers and most importantly in helping address the biggest challenge of all- climate change. The second report “Unleashing Waves of Innovation” documents these contributions that R&E networks have made from the very inception of the Internet. Not only did the Internet start with this community, but they have continued to be at the forefront of adopting new business models and architectures. For example, at one time radical concepts such as condominium fiber and wavelengths started with this community and have now been adopted by forward thinking carriers. The standard for network neutrality and the need for a public Internet that is for everyone has largely been carried by the R&E network community. Thanks to Donald Clark for this pointer – BSA]

Economic evaluation of NRENs

Unleashing Waves of Innovation