Los Angeles to Tap into CENIC’s CalREN Research Internet Backbone

BERKELEY, CA — As the first large city government to join CENIC, California’s ultra-fast 100 Gbps research and education network, Los Angeles will build stronger digital connections to California's innovators, researchers, educators and students.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city of Los Angeles has signed an agreement to connect the city’s databases and computers to an Internet network 1000 times faster than available previously, sponsored by the CENIC community, at no additional cost to Los Angeles taxpayers.

The agreement with CENIC (Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California) will allow the city to plug into the California Research and Education Network (CalREN). This connection will enable high-speed delivery of the city's data and services to California's K-20 students, educators, academic researchers, and 10,000 member institutions including LA-area institutions like Caltech, UCLA, USC, Cal State LA, and the Los Angeles Community Colleges. Following the connection to the city of Los Angeles, CENIC plans to enable other cities' open data initiatives, connecting them to CENIC's research community and to one another, creating a platform for sharing and analyzing data, and enabling the exchange of best practices and new applications.

Limitless Potential for Innovation, Discovery

“The city of Los Angeles is already unmatched in digital transparency, but speed and accessibility are just as important in the 21st century,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This agreement means that young people, students of all ages, some of the world’s leading thinkers and educators can now access the city’s digital resources up to 1,000 times faster. When we open our data to the public, and commit ourselves to making it more easily available, we create limitless potential for innovation, discovery, and new understanding.”

Los Angeles published more than 1,000 datasets on its two open data portals http://data.lacity.org and http://geohub.lacity.org, comprising one of the largest collections of urban data ever created. Other governments, companies, and individuals use the information every day.

Examples include the Clean Streets Index http://www.cleanstreetsla.org/cleanstat/ (a quarterly measure of the cleanliness of every city street), public safety and transportation data, sustainability measures, economic assets and many other types of information that make the City more accessible and transparent.

Researchers use the data for academic analyses, while companies incorporate public information in their apps and services. Angelenos increasingly connect to the city's data and services through the Internet, whether through Google's Waze to avoid construction delays or through MyLA311 to report urban issues.

Advances in Urban Living

“This peering partnership between CENIC and the city of Los Angeles represents a unique opportunity to pair the sophisticated research and analysis being done at California’s great universities with the massive data being generated in one of our country’s most progressive Smart Cities, Los Angeles. This will lead to advances in urban living that have not been possible before,” emphasized William Clebsch, associate vice president for IT Services, Stanford University, and chair of the CENIC Board of Directors.

CENIC’s Charter Associates are part of the world’s largest education system; they include the California K-12 system, California Community Colleges, the California State University system, California’s Public Libraries, the University of California system, Stanford, Caltech, and USC. CENIC also provides connectivity to leading-edge institutions and industry research organizations around the world, serving the public as a catalyst for a vibrant California.

Sharing of City-scale Data and Information Technology
CENIC is advancing the Smart Cities movement through high capacity collection, use, and sharing of city-scale data and information technology. “We are excited to connect the City of Los Angeles to the CENIC networks, the first of a new "Big Cities, Big Data" collaborations within California. Los Angeles is among the world’s most innovative ‘Smart Cities’ and a leader in the use of technology to address critical concerns of governance, economic development, environmental sustainability and social justice,” said Louis Fox, CENIC President and CEO.

Enabled by CENIC’s 100 gigabit network and the world class research capacity provided by California's universities and colleges, advanced strategic policies and programs for city-scale interventions have the capacity to vastly improve the lives of the people in cities, create sustainable urban environments, and support the expected dramatic growth in urban environments.

"Such a progressive move, the City of LA and CENIC joining networks to unleash the power of open data and the innovation of the entire educational community! You name it - smart energy, smart water, smart manufacturing, transportation, health, parking, safety, etc. all make up the Smart City,” said Jim Davis, Vice Provost, Information Technology and Chief Academic Technology Officer at UCLA. “Imagine the new insights, ideas and opportunities drawing on the creativity of the city and our students, teachers, scholars and researchers throughout the State."

Big Cities, Big Data
The city of Los Angles and CENIC's new model for a Big Cities, Big Data partnerships brings new opportunities for collaboration between all of California’s cities, schools, colleges, and universities. Ultimately, this collaboration will extend to all California cities – large and small, urban and rural – a platform for a new California Communities Data-Sharing project.

“CENIC has been connecting California to the world for over 20 years. This announcement amplifies CENIC’s role as a catalyst enabling research and education throughout the state. As we enter the era of “smart cities” we can expect to see more collaborations between municipalities and regional research and education networks. CENIC is once again leading the way by providing a robust platform for innovation,” said Rich Fagen, chief information officer at Caltech.


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