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NIUNet: Next-Generation Communication

Bridging the globe

NIUNet, a high-speed fiber-optic network built by Northern Illinois University, connects the region to the world while enhancing academic research and bolstering economic development.

NIUNet is a roughly 175-mile fiber optic loop throughout the western Chicago suburbs and greater northern Illinois region, consisting of both newly constructed segments and previously unused leased underground fiber. It is a joint effort of NIU's Division of Information Technology and Regional Development Institute.

As the partnerships have grown in number, NIUNet has acquired a reputation for cutting edge technology and innovative cost-sharing arrangements. 

Connecting Illinois Communities

The network connects schools, libraries, hospitals and municipalities in a 10-county area to high-speed fiber to:

Provide researchers access high-speed unrestricted broadband to national labs and databases throughout northern Illinois.

Deliver distance education in essentially real-time with DVD-quality picture and sound.

Enable doctors to diagnose and consult with other physicians from hundreds of miles away. Patients will be able to access specialists without traveling to them. 

Allow cities to share resources for planning, emergency management and economic development. High-tech jobs will come and stay instead of leaving for more "connected" communities on the coasts.