This week I’m attending the Internet2 Global Summit (read: member meeting) in Chicago, IL. This is a particularly good meeting for me as I’ve spent the last month mired in Services Memorandums, Membership Agreements and coming year logistics like HR policy updates, etc.
While attending a meeting specifically for R&E network CEOs, I characterized what we, as R&Es, do in a few words, “Our goal is to provide a superior end-user experience; whether end-user is a researcher or a student watching Netflix. We are interested in anything that helps us provide that experience.”
This was in response to Internet2’s questions about certain initiatives and how we, as the regionals (slang term for the state and regional R&E networks), would prioritize them. Simple right? Sounds like it.
KanREN is under constant pressure to justify our expense from our members. Routinely, sometimes even from our largest, founding members, KanREN is called in to explain why we’re not the cheapest Internet they can get. I always struggle to describe why comparing us to commercial ISPs isn’t apples to apples. It isn’t easy, but it should be. KanREN has implemented what our members have asked for: performance, reliability, flexibility, transparency.
This is why R&E networks are and will remain relevant — which is a common question. I believe that as long as our focus is on our members, we continue to meet their needs on time, at scale, we will naturally evolve with our members, our own relevance mirroring theirs.
In the next post: What I think the tangible changes for R&E networking will be in the next 2–3 years.