Fiber-optic market consultant KMI Research predicts that carriers will bury over 344 million kilometers (or 214 million miles) of fiber-optic cable over the 2002-2006 period. Dividing this by the number of hours in five years (43,800) yields a rate of nearly 5,000 miles per hour. See KMI Research, 2002.


See Teleography, Inc., 2001. The study indicates that trans-Pacific bandwidth capability increased from 14 gigabits to 244 gigabits per second by the end of 2000, with trans-Atlantic capability at about 550 gigabits per second, and U.S.-Latin American bandwidth capability at about 290 gigabits per second. Bear in mind, however, that this is all backbone cable, and not what anyone could dial into.


The July 2001 survey by the Internet Software Consortium located over 125 million unique computer “hosts” on the Internet. According to Matrix Net Systems, if the same rate of growth of recent years is sustained, the Internet will cross the 1-billion-host mark in 2005 (Internet Software Consortium, 2001; Matrix Net Systems, 2000).



Newman (2000) provides an overview of the challenges that are facing the universities and forcing change, including advances in information technology.


For example, the IMS Global Learning Consortium is developing and promoting open specifications for facilitating online distributed-learning activities such as locating and using educational content, tracking learner progress, reporting learner performance, and exchanging student records between administrative systems (www.imsproject.org). The Advanced Distributed Learning initiative is a university-industry-government effort launched by the Department of Defense in 1997 to develop e-learning standardization (www.adlnet.org).


The discussion at the January 22-23, 2001 Workshop on the Impacts of Information Technology on the Future of the Research University (www.researchchannel.com) includes perspectives from several experts.


Another cohort of learners pushing for change is employed adults.


In this area, information technology can help institutions and faculty move in a direction that they are already exploring. (King, 1993; Grasha, 1994)


At some institutions, the distinction between adult learners and on-campus students is becoming increasingly blurred as more full-time students blend face-to-face and on-line coursework in order to balance work, family, and academic obligations.


See Pethokoukis (2002) who cites proprietary reports from International Data Corp. and Bear Stearns.


See www.blackboard.com and www.webCT.com.


Unext is an education company that provides online business education and other e-learning products in collaboration with several universities (including Stanford and Columbia). Courses include targeted training programs and professional development, as well as business education. Unext

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