Research and Education Networks (RENs)


What is a Research and Education Network (REN) and how is it different from a commercial internet service provider?

Research and Education Networks (RENs) are specifically designed with high network speed and capacity to handle the intense bandwidth and data transfer needs for the research and education community, unlike general commercial internet. At the inception of the internet, universities were one of the first to exceed bandwidth needs leading to the creation of Internet2 and regional Research and Education Networks (like SCN) to meet the networks needs of research, education, and government.

Today’s RENs serve as the backbone of access, collaboration, and innovation in the U.S. by providing advanced network services and applications for colleges, universities, K-12 educational systems, public libraries, healthcare institutions, museums, cultural institutions, state and local government, and indigenous communities. Additionally, today’s RENs are at the center of successful public-private partnerships to extend their middle-mile networks into unserved and underserved areas nationwide. Working together as one community, RENs empower their member institutions and support their public-service missions which are all truly critical.

SCN’s connection to Internet2 connects our regional network with the national network community providing cloud solutions, research support, and services tailored for research and education, including eduroam; a simple, easy, secure Wi-Fi connection from thousands of hotspots across more than 100 countries.

View a list of all U.S. Regional and State Network Providers to Intenet2

Internet2 is a community providing a secure highspeednetwork, cloud solutions, research support, andservices tailored for research and education. Our community includes higher education, research institutions, government entities, corporations and cultural organizations. Internet2, formally titled the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), is a not-for-profit organization governed by a Board of Trustees.

Through InCommon, Internet2 provides security, privacy, and IAM tools built for research and education: single sign-on (SSO), access to cloud and local services, and roaming wi-fi.

Internet2 US Map

The Quilt is the national coalition of non-profit U.S. regional research and education networks representing 43 networks across the country. Members of The Quilt provide advanced network services and applications to over 900 universities and thousands of other educational and community anchor institutions.  Through the collaborative forum of The Quilt, member organizations have access to a broader set of expertise and knowledge than any single organization working on its own.