Network Nebraska-Education Receives Award  

October 28, 2013
National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), a nonprofit, association representing state chief information officers and information technology executives and managers from across the states, recently awarded Network Nebraska-Education the Cross-Boundary Collaboration and Partnerships recognition award for their project and video submitted to the 2013 State IT Recognition Awards.

Network Nebraska-Education became a project of the State CIO’s Office on July 1, 2006, as the Nebraska Legislature passed Legislative Bill 1208. The State CIO, Brenda Decker, in cooperation with the University of Nebraska and other state agencies, began formulating a project plan in 2006 to complete the ‘ability for education entities to connect’ to a statewide network. The Legislature further directed that all network and administrative costs be assumed by the participants, that participation in Network Nebraska be strictly voluntary. Without any upfront state funding to implement the actual network, the project proved to be very challenging. By the legislative benchmark date of July 1, 2012, the Network Nebraska-Education project had grown to a total of 261 entities, which included 89% of public K-12 education, 100% of public higher education, and 50% of private colleges in the state on a single IP network, and the network continues to grow. High quality video distance learning classes have increased to over 500 semester classes per year. The unit cost of Internet is one of the lowest in the country.

Dave Heineman, Governor of Nebraska says “Network Nebraska has provided a statewide platform to carry a spectrum of services and applications for state government and K-20 education that is scalable, reliable and affordable. This collaborative effort between the educational entities in Nebraska, Nebraska state government and our University has leveraged the power of aggregation to lower costs while creating an atmosphere of partnership across these systems.”

John Stritt, ESU 10 Distance Education Specialist, and Debbie Schroeder, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Technology Services at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, serve as co-chairs for Network Nebraska Advisory Group.

Click here to view the winning video.