In an effort to provide more stable and reliable Web access, the university recently inked a deal with AT&T Managed Internet Service to host Internet connections for the Homewood and East Baltimore campuses. The new service, expected to be in place by June 30, will include 20 megabit dedicated lines to each campus, in addition to diverse routing paths for data traffic.
AT&T replaces BBN/GTE, which has been the university's Internet service provider for the past four years.
Dean Zarriello, director of enterprise network architecture and design for Hopkins Information Technology Services, said using diverse routing paths will allow the data to flow through two major routes--the electronic equivalent of traveling on both I-95 and US-1--and thus minimize connection outages.
"At times, all ISPs experience congestion and connectivity difficulties," Zarriello said. "Having diverse paths ensures greater reliability on connections to the Internet in case of fiber cuts, routing issues or equipment failure on the service provider's part."
The data traffic for the Homewood campus will now follow a northern route, through Cambridge, Mass., while the East Baltimore campus traffic will continue to travel through the Washington, D.C., area.
Zarriello said AT&T was chosen because of its engineering expertise and international network presence.
"AT&T is a tier-one ISP that has facilities worldwide, a strong fiber-optic backbone and world-class engineering support," he said.
In the long term, Hopkins ITS is in the process of developing a strategic plan to implement Internet fail over and load balancing to ensure uninterrupted service for all JHU institutions.
In February, the university signed a separate agreement with AT&T to offer remote Internet access alternatives for students, faculty, staff and alumni.