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Pinpointing migration of the state’s new high-speed network with a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) core, known as Next Generation State Network (NGN), has been made possible by an interactive map application created through a collaborative effort between the Arkansas Department of Information Systems (DIS) and the Arkansas Geographic Information Office (AGIO).
Available as a free download in the App Store as ArcGIS (see attachment for download instructions), the map not only enables users to view and track the deployment of NGN, it also enables access to a gallery of other maps including district maps for the Arkansas House and Senate among others. The legend on the NGN map is coded to enable the user to view the progress of network conversion by site, deployment, status, and availability of the public network service by DIS. A future feature in the discussion and planning stage is for the app to display an organization’s bandwidth consumption which will aid in network planning.
“This map is a great way for DIS customers to receive the latest information about the implementation of NGN,” said Shelby Johnson, state geographic information officer. “As the individual phases of NGN installations are completed, DIS personnel enter the information into a database which then feeds updates to the map. The map is currently updated every Tuesday to reflect the most up to date information received from the DIS database,” Johnson said.
Though fully functional, developers continue to fine tune and make adjustments to the NGN application as needed.
An advantage of MPLS is that it directs data based on short path labels rather than long network addresses. NGN will ultimately provide a solution offering more bandwidth at the same cost to the Arkansas public education system and state agencies. NGN will connect over 2,000 Arkansas public entities, including K-12 school districts, to the data center and Internet.