Five universities launch broadband network


Cathy Chou, The China Post

Under the supervision of the Ministry of Education (MOE), five Taiwan universities, including Chang Gung University, National Central University, National Tsinghua University, National Yang Ming University and National Chiao Tung University, launched an inter-capmus broadband network facility, U Net, which connects the five universities for teaching, research and social service uses. Minister of Education Huang Jung-tsun said that U Net is a 2.5 G bit/sec network which links the five universities, MOE and Academia Sinica together to transmit academic information such as videos of lectures and conferences. Huang encouraged the five universities to cooperate more intensively through the launch of the new network. Among the five universities, National Central University, National Tsinghua University, National Yang Ming University and National Chiao Tung University already formed a university alliance in March under the name of the University System of Taiwan. The four alliance members hope to develop real content with cooperation through the use of U Net, and quell the rumor that the alliance is a means to draw MOE subsidies.

Chang Gung University, a private university founded by Formosa Plastics Group, joins in the project with hopes to improve academic quality through cross-university resource sharing. The expenses of U Net, which come to NT$10 million a year, will be divided among the five universities according to the number of students enrolled in each school. MOE has not granted any particular subsidy for the network project, but Chunghwa Telecom Company, U Net’s broadband provider, gave a 75 percent discount on the broadband rental fee. James Lin, Director of the Computer and Communication Center at National Tsinghua University, said the five universities have not yet mapped out the future cooperation plans in detail. The management structure of U Net is also under discussion. “The four members of the University System of Taiwan have some cooperation experience in the past,” said Lin. “But nothing is confirmed with Chang Gung as of now. We just went ahead and built the network first.”