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FAQ's
Q.  What will it mean to be connected to the SEN?

A. The State Education Network will be made up of all schools/districts in the State.  This network will utilize fiber owned by the schools as well as fiber owned by the MISEN, certain vendors and Merit.  In some cases, it will be necessary to lease fiber resources from other telecommunication providers.  This private educational network will provide fast, reliable communication between all K-12 school districts in Michigan.  In other words, network traffic between Michigan schools will not traverse the commodity Internet, but instead it will go over the SEN.

QWill MISEN provide Internet?

A. MISEN currently has no plans to provide Internet services, but it will provide the opportunity for districts to utilize their SEN connection to aggregate buying power.  Furthermore, the SEN connection will provide access to more ISPs to Michigan schools.

Q.  How fast will the SEN be?

A.  While there will be a few exceptions, connections to the SEN will initially be 10Gbps.  Connections between MISEN aggregate routers will be 100Gbps.

Q.  How much will the SEN connection cost me?

A. All of the costs to implement and support the SEN are provided through the TRIG grant.

Q.  How will the SEN help with testing?

A. 

  1. Because the SEN is exclusively under K-12 control, data is much more secure than when traveling across the commodity Internet.  The SEN will be less vulnerable to outside security issues like DDoS attacks.

  2.  The SEN will provide a private, reliable, fast platform for vendors of testing services to deploy and support testing content.

  3. The SEN reduces reliance on third party networks, making troubleshooting significantly easier.

Q.  Will the SEN connection save me money?
A. Not directly; however, by inter-connecting all K-12 fiber networks in the State, the bulk buying power and the opportunity to easily share services between districts represent significant savings opportunities.  One of the key goals of TRIG is to establish regional or statewide buying opportunities.  Furthermore, for some regions, the SEN will provide bandwidth opportunities that would otherwise not have been economically feasible.
Q.  What changes will I need to make to my network?

A. MISEN will need to install a MISEN edge switch at every ISD.  This edge switch will connect to your existing equipment at either 1Gbps or 10Gbps.  Each installation will be unique, but we are expecting that in most cases, this will be the ISD’s core router which routes traffic between all local districts.  Configuration changes will need to be made to your edge router in order to share routing information between your local network and MISEN.

Q.  Can I use MISEN to get VLANs to other ISDs for local initiatives?  How will that work?

A. Yes. The actual process hasn’t been developed yet, but there is additional capacity built into the network for just such requests.

Q.  How does MISEN tie in with other TRIG projects?

A. First the SEN design initially establishes a core 100 Gig route to each of the five data hubs.  The individual ISDs connect to the core through 10 Gig connections.  This provides a secure, robust route for each ISD to and from the data hubs established by the Data Integration activity. 

Second, the device purchasing activity added thousands of new devices all of which demand bandwidth.  The SEN can keep the intranet traffic from these devices off the commodity internet, improving efficiency and saving money.  Finally, part of being test ready involves creating reliable platforms for online testing.  The SEN is working with testing vendors to ensure that it leverages the intranet for robust, reliable and secure connections to the testing content servers.

Q.  Will MISEN provide me with new IP addresses?

A.  No.  IP addresses are assigned by your ISP.  Those IP addresses will be “advertised” to the SEN and core SEN routers will inter-connect your addresses with all other K-12 addresses.  The SEN will be acting like a large, peered network consisting of all Michigan schools/ISDs.

Q. The specifications in the facilities spreadsheet for my ISD shows that an EX switch will be installed. I already get services from Merit and have a MERIT-supplied EX4500 switch at my location. Should I plan for an additional switch?

A. Yes. The switch installed to support the SEN will be an additional, separate switch from the one that Merit has in place for any services you get directly from them.

Q.  How will arrangements be made to install equipment at my location?

A. MISEN will work with the ISD Technology Director on an agreement that addresses all the logistics.  A template for the agreement has been developed by Rick Coy of Clark Hill.  It provides a starting point and will be modified to address the unique situations at each ISD.  Merit will also contact the ISD to arrange access.

Q.  How much fiber will MISEN need to build?

A. By leveraging existing routes and using IRUs or lit circuits, we will keep construction to a minimum.

Q. Will MISEN connect to my private (e.g. 10.0.0.0/8, 192.168.0.0/16) network?

A. No, MISEN will only route public subnets.