EL PASO – The University of Texas at El Paso and other research and educational institutions across the U.S. have teamed up with universities in Mexico to make it easier and more affordable for them to access the state of the art Internet research capabilities available in the U.S.
The jointly constructed optical infrastructure between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez is called Cross Connect. “We have designed an innovative way for exchanging teaching and research information,” says UTEP Vice President for Information Resources and Planning, Dr. Stephen Riter.
According to Dr. Riter, this started more than five years ago when UTEP used money from the National Science Foundation to begin a link of networks from El Paso to Ciudad Juárez. UTEP established a relationship with the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juárez to help enhance research tools for students in Juárez.
Students in Mexico now have the ability to use video conferencing and educational demos to boost their educational experience. Using an interconnected network for telecommunications in Mexico called CUDI, (Corporacion Universitaria para el Desarrollo de Internet) universities in Mexico then can connect to a similar system in the U.S. called Internet 2. What began with just El Paso and Ciudad Juárez quickly grew and now many schools in Mexico can connect anywhere in the U.S.
Anyone in Mexico doing medical research, completing research in astronomy, or needing access to digital libraries can now share files and get the same kind of information available to researches in the U.S for years, according to CUDI.
“Before the Cross Connect was created, researchers in Mexico had to connect via satellite to Spain and through Spain they were connected to Chicago and from there they were able to connect to the rest of the U.S., just in order to share information back and forth. Connecting directly to the researches themselves now saves them a tremendous amount of money,” said Dr. Riter.