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CCNet Named NII Awards Finalist

released 06.06.95


Contact Information
Karen Green
Public Information Officer
217.265.0748 phone
217.265.0460 fax

CHAMPAIGN, IL.-Champaign County Network (CCNet) was selected as a finalist for the first annual National Information Infrastructure (NII) Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement using the information superhighway.

CCNet is a collaborative project between the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the Computing & Communications Services Office at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to bring high-speed networks to Champaign County. "We are connecting individuals, businesses and organizations to each other and the rest of the world via the Internet," says NCSA's Alaina Kanfer.

More than 200 individuals from 70 organizations have worked together to identify applications in areas such as, education, health care, agri-business, small business, government, libraries, and geographic information systems. CCNet, in turn, recruits companies that can provide high-speed networks or connections in these application areas.

Because of CCNet activities, more than one dozen pilot sites are connected at high-speed. Champaign County was chosen by Ameritech-Illinois to test Ameritech's new Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) packages. The ISDN packages will be marketed regionally later this year.

CCNet was chosen as one of 36 finalists from among more than 500 entries. The diverse group of finalists ranges from the Smithsonian Institution and the Centers for Disease Control to the Rolling Stones' Vodoo Lounge World Tour Website. Finalists were named in six categories: arts and entertainment, business, community, education, government and health.

"Two years ago we were challenged to take advantage of the resources available in this community, namely NCSA's experience with developing NCSA Mosaic (TM) software and the emerging Information Superhighway," says CCNet Chairman, Lee O'Neill.

"Although there are other test projects going on in other communities, Champaign County is working to be the first fully-integrated community, with a variety of connectivity solutions for different types of businesses, organizations, and individuals," O'Neill continued.

CCNet was evaluated through the NII Awards' "Virtual Judging System," which links more than 130 judges and enables them to share comments and submit ballots independent of time and location. The system was developed by Price Waterhouse, Access Media and Lotus Development Corp. CCNet will join all other entries as part of a worldwide Website and database designed to provide examples of how individuals, community groups and businesses can use and benefit from the NII.

The NII Awards are sponsored by more than 70 industry, community and government organizations. Six winners will be named in Washington, D.C., on July 12, 1995. Corporate sponsors of the NII Awards are AT&T, Alcatel, Bell South Business Systems, Fujitsu America, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, Lotus Development Corp., Price Waterhouse, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments, U.S. West/Interprise Networking Services and the U.S. Postal Service. The NII Awards are produced by Access Media Inc., based in Santa Monica, Calif., as part of a public education program to accelerate the development and use of the NII.

CCNet is a not-for-profit subsidiary corporation of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, formed in cooperation with the Greater Champaign-Urbana Economic Partnership, Inc. (which includes the C-U Convention & Visitors Bureau and the former U-C Economic Development Corp.). NCSA, a unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receives major funding to support its research from the National Science Foundation, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA, corporate partners, the State of Illinois, and the University of Illinois.

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