From mountains to Memphis, ATM network delivers

From mountains to Memphis, ATM network delivers

In 1996, Tennessee had three data networks: one for the Board of Regents, one for the University of Tennessee and one for the state government. That year the state set up a task force of more than 200 citizens to look into the feasibility of consolidating the three networks into one. The task force's conclusion? A resounding yes.

Last fall, Tennessee awarded a five-year contract to BellSouth Corp. of Atlanta and Qwest Communications Inc. of Denver to merge the three networks into the Tennessee Information Infrastructure (TNII). The two companies
are working with Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Lucent Technologies Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., among others.

TNII will deliver voice, video and data services to Tennessee's schools, libraries, health care facilities, and higher education, as well as the network's anchor tenants of state government, the state university system, and the Board of Regents.

Tennessee state government offices will go online with TNII this month, and the University of Tennessee offices should be wired by the end of the summer, said Vic Mangrum, executive director of TNII.

TNII's asynchronous transfer mode backbone will allow for statewide transmission of voice, video and data, Mangrum said. Every service available through TNII will be available to every location in Tennessee at the same price, from the most rural areas to Memphis, he said.

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