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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee-Knoxville is one of four universities in the Southeast helping develop an Internet-based video network for higher education use.

For the work, UT-Knoxville is sharing a $53,400 grant awarded by the Southeastern Universities Research Association. UT’s partners in the project are Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Sue Mettlen, UT-Knoxville vice chancellor for Information Infrastructure, said the universities will develop specifications for video-on-demand and video conferencing systems that could be used by all SURA members.

The group also will provide standards and practices for video systems to SURA members and establish relationships with manufacturers willing to meet the network specifications.

The effort, which is expected to take about three months, will be followed by a second and third phase to put the systems in place and begin their use.

Dr. Lee Riedinger, a SURA trustee and head of the UT-Knoxville physics department, said the collaboration of universities might represent the best idea yet for Internet2 video applications.

”I am thrilled that UT networking experts are taking the lead in making this happen,” Riedinger said.