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STATE Regents want money to upgrade education and government network


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The telecommunications network for state government and education needs a $9 million upgrade, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education said.

Increased activity on OneNet has exposed the need for faster computer servers capable of handling the telecommunications traffic, said Chancellor Hans Brisch.

OneNet is the division of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education responsible for overseeing the network. Currently, all higher education institutions and career technology centers use the network.

About 80 percent of the state's elementary and secondary schools participate in the network and service is provided to a collection of state and federal agencies and hospitals.

OneNet also needs supplemental working capital to handle cash flow problems, Brisch said. There have been payment delays in federal and state programs that provide discounted services to schools and libraries.

Brisch said the telecommunications network has not received a substantial state investment since 1992, when the initial bond issue creating the network was passed.

Supplemental funding from the state could provide money for support equipment upgrades and technology replacement.

Regents have previously expressed concern over the increased activity on OneNet.

Last summer, officials doubled the broadband width of OneNet in response to concerns the network could buckle under heavy Internet usage.

Internet usage at college campuses across the nation is up and much of that traffic has been devoted to downloading music files.

OneNet officials haven't imposed restrictions on the usage of the network, instead urging colleges and universities to educate students on the proper uses for the Internet.
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