History

In February 2010, KINBER was awarded a $99.6 million grant by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to design, build and manage a 1,600-mile broadband network connecting community anchor institutions and reach unserved or underserved counties. Three years later, the construction of the Pennsylvania Research and Education Network, or PennREN, was completed.

In early 2014, seven additional nodes were added to the original PennREN footprint to reach into even more rural areas of Pennsylvania. Network access points are now in 51 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties with initial connections in more than 70 locations over the 1,800-mile network.

In 2015 KINBER experienced record growth, with 25 new sites connecting to PennREN and 27 more choosing to upgrade their service. Geisinger Health System became the first healthcare organization connected to PennREN. The number of sites connecting at 10Gbps grew from five to thirteen, including the University of Pittsburgh which was the first university in Pennsylvania to provide 10 Gbps connectivity to all campuses. Also in 2015, KINBER received a $150,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to strengthen regional campus cyberinfrastructure. KINBER’s Community Services program continues to expand new “above-net” service offerings and trainings.