Ferguson Township to participate in second phase of KINBER study

At its meeting Tuesday night, the board of supervisors decided to go ahead with the second phase of the KINBER Study.

Centre Region municipalities, the Centre Region Council of Governments, State College Borough Water Authority, CATA and University Area Joint Authority have received initial estimates to provide connections to the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research Network.

“KINBER is a membership organization devoted to fostering collaboration through technology for education, research, health care, libraries, public media, workforce development, government and economic development. KINBER offers connectivity, technology infrastructure solutions and training and professional development opportunities tailored to support the needs of our members, ranging from libraries and health systems to large university settings,” according to its website.

The township received two cost estimates, depending on whether CATA and Ferguson Township choose to do a joint connection project, according to the manager’s report.

The 2017 COG budget allocates funding to do a more detailed study — the second phase — for more specific costs rather than just estimates.

The township also comparing estimated costs to that of a direct connection to Comcast, said David Pribulka, assistant township manager.

“KINBER built and manages the 1,800-mile Pennsylvania Research and Education Network, ... which provides advanced data networking to nonprofit organizations and fosters collaboration between Pennsylvania-based organizations for value-added services such as Internet2 connectivity, realistic high-definition video, real-time videoconferencing and data sharing,” according to its website. “PennREN 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.”

Harris and Halfmoon townships have decided not to go forward into the second phase of the study, while others like College Township have expressed an interest in the second phase, Pribulka said.

Steve Miller, board chairman, said he thought it would be worth going through the second phase.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz