Solving Network Infrastructure Challenges

Solving Network Infrastructure Challenges

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Tuesday, September 29 | 9 am PST / 12 pm EST

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Scaling a telecommunications infrastructure to meet growth is a challenge for small and large districts, state networks, and regional service providers. The Utah Education Network (UEN) provides wide area networking, Web, data, and video, Internet firewalls and other services to schools, colleges, and other sites throughout the state. As the numbers of users grew, the tasks became more complex. UEN needed a comprehensive solution.

Find out how Utah solved the infrastructure challenges by creating a network with the ability to:
• Scale bandwidth to meet growth requirements economically
• Reduce end-user complaints
• Reduce help desk calls
• Save money


Jim Stewart joined the Utah Education Network as the Director of Technology Services in January 2000. UEN was initially comprised of 4 separate networks. These were (1) a data network made up of T-1 circuits, DS-3s, OC-3s, Ethernet circuits and Microwave links, (2) a television station, KULC, that provides educational programming, (3) a satellite system that uplinks at Utah State University and downlinks to about 400 classrooms in Utah, and (4) a distance learning video system with 250 Utah sites providing about 300 events per week.

Mr. Stewart has been instrumental in the planning and implementing the conversion of the UEN networks to an Ethernet-based network that has enabled integration of the satellite system and distance learning systems with the data system. Also, during this time the UEN distance learning system has been migrated from a mostly analog video system to digital endpoints and bridges. Additionally, Mr. Stewart has implemented an advocate and regional technical forum methodology that has greatly improved customer relations and the ability of UEN to respond to local needs in a very large and diverse geographic area.

Mike Peterson, the Executive Director of the Utah Education Network (UEN), has provided leadership in technology and distance learning for the last two decades, both as an administrator and faculty member. Before coming to UEN, he was the Associate Commissioner for Academic Affairs, Utah System of Higher Education, and was President of the College of Eastern Utah. Dr. Petersen has taught concurrent enrollment and higher education courses using UEN’s Instructional Video Conferencing System, and currently teaches two online classes as a faculty member of Weber State University’s WSUOnline. Mike understands the importance of distance learning to all citizens and its future promise in meeting the growing education needs of students, teachers, education staff members and businesses in Utah, the Intermountain West, and the entire nation.

Joni Robertson has been a professional in the telecom industry spanning 30 years. Having managed various complex telecom initiatives over her career, Joni has demonstrated a broad and in-depth working knowledge of this industry. She has successfully performed roles including “Large Project” coordinator, switch programming, provision management, network designer and system trainer. Significant project successes in Joni’s career include Central Office switch conversions, Telecommunications Center relocation for the University of Utah, a three state ACD Centralization project and the coordination of the state-wide Ethernet WAN project for the Utah Education Network with Qwest Communications.

Joni has received numerous service and sales recognitions for her dedications to customer satisfaction including multiple Spirit of Service, Spirit LinQ and Presidents Club awards. She currently serves as a member of the “Ladies of Charity International” organization, providing basic needs for the poor in her community.

with a welcome by

Sharon Montgomery is Qwest’s Government and Education Solutions Vice President. She is responsible for state and local government, non-profit health care, higher education and K-12 schools for Qwest.

Montgomery is a 30-year veteran of the communications industry, where she has held various sales, service, operations, process management and product management positions.

Montgomery earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. She also received an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Denver in 2002.

Her three children are College graduates. Jason earned an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Utah and his MBA from West Minster College is currently working as an engineer at L-3 Communications in Utah. Justin earned his Finance and Accounting degrees from Colorado University and is working in finance. Jackie earned a Graphic Design degree from Colorado State and an Elementary Master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado and is teaching fifth grade in Colorado. Her oldest step son, Zane, graduated with an engineering degree from Harvey Mudd and is working in Boulder, Colorado at First RF Corporation. Gavin, 17, attends Lakewood High School’s International Baccalaureate program in Denver.

Sharon is married and lives in Evergreen, Colorado.