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LEARN: Lonestar Education and Research Network

In 2004, LEARN was created when Texas research institutions and health science centers reached a consensus on a shared vision that it was strategically important to create an organization dedicated to high performance networking in Texas. 

LEARN was enabled by the Texas Legislature via SB1771 in Legislative Session 78, House Bill 7, and supported by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House, to help build a high speed, advanced fiber optic network for research, education, healthcare, and their non-profit partners to serve the State of Texas.

In the years since, LEARN has become a vital and trusted partner empowering its members to execute their missions through technology and collaboration.

LEARN's Vision: LEARN will be the most efficient and effective enabler of research, education, healthcare, and public service communities in Texas using technology and shared services.

Network Infrastructure

  •  LEARN's optical fiber network spans over 3,200 miles across the state                  
  • Connects over 300 direct & affiliate members
  • Scalable state-of-the art optical fiber technology
  • East to west from Beaumont to El Paso and north to south from Lubbock to Brownsville
  • LEARN owned high-performance routers at its 26 strategically located POPs

LEARN Flashback

In 2013...

Enhancing Education & Research at Texas Tech University Through Its LEARN Partnership

Texas Tech University's (TTU) partnership with the Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN) has greatly assisted TTU in achieving its institutional teaching and research priorities. Before TTU partnered with LEARN, high speed, high capacity Internet bandwidth was available only from one or two commercial providers at a high cost to the university. Through LEARN's network services, Texas Tech University System institutions (Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso, and Angelo State University) are now connected by dual fiber optic links.

The direct connection to LEARN's Dallas POP gave Texas Tech University access to Internet providers in the metroplex, allowing TTU to grow its total Internet bandwidth from 622Mbs from one provider in 2010 to 5Gbps across three providers by 2013. This increase in bandwidth and reliability has allowed TTU to more fully utilize cloud-based services for key services, such as our Blackboard Learning Management System and OmniUpdate Web CMS, expand Online and Distance Education programs, and enhance connectivity to TTU remote sites in Junction, Fredericksburg, and Marble Falls.

Similar to the growth in Commodity Internet, Internet2 bandwidth provided through the LEARN partnership grew from 622Mbps in 2010 to 13Gbps in 2013, with virtually a limitless growth potential. Such a rapid increase in research bandwidth provided an immediate benefit to the High Energy Physics Department's work on the Large Hadron Collider Project, allowing TTU researchers to transfer terabytes of data over Internet2 between FermiLab and TTU, and to analyze the data. The massive increase in Internet2 bandwidth provided through LEARN created a temporary bottleneck as data traversed the existing campus backbone at that time. To facilitate high speed large dataset transfers, TTU established a 10Gbps campus Research Network, with future expansion plans to 40Gbps and 100Gbps. The current Research Network connects data servers at the TTU High Performance Computing Center (HPCC) facility at the Lubbock Campus Experimental Sciences Building, the HPCC facility at Reese Technology Center, and the Advanced Technology Learning Center Communications facility.

Most recently, Texas Tech's National Wind Institute partnered with Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) to study wind turbine technology at the newly established Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility. The partnership utilizes TTU's high speed Internet2 connectivity to transfer real time data from the SWiFT facility to SNL. Future research projects and partnerships at Texas Tech are expected to increasingly rely upon fast data connections between TTU and its academic and commercial partners. The LEARN partnership paves the way for these types of future collaborations as we continue to enhance TTU's national research university status.

Finally, the TTU-LEARN partnership, combined with TTU's Unified Communications technology, enables seamless communications across the state of Texas utilizing SIP trunks, Voice-over-IP, video conferencing, and Skype conferencing. This greatly increases TTU's presence across the state of Texas and the world, opening the door for new and enhanced online and distance education programs, and for electronic collaboration with peers and partners.