The Quilt FAQ

What is the Quilt?
The Quilt is a consortium of providers of advanced regional network services, like NYSERNet, working together to promote the delivery of low-cost, high-performance network services to the research and education community. You can learn more about the Quilt at www.thequilt.net.

What is the Quilt CIS Program?
The Quilt’s CIS (Commercial Internet Service) program is a multi-vendor, bulk-buying program that is open to Quilt members and their member organizations.

How does the program work?
The Quilt undertakes a biennial process to identify Internet service providers interested in and qualified to provide services to Quilt members. The Quilt seeks vendors willing to offer discounts based upon the aggregate Quilt bandwidth purchase (now approaching 1 Tb) and which are willing to extend the technologies they deploy in their networks. The Quilt’s CIS RFP pr ocess is central to this quest. From this process, the Quilt selects several vendors with which it enters into master services agreements (MSA). Each MSA sets the pricing and terms the vendor (called an Authorized Quilt Provider or AQP) agrees to extend to Quilt members and the details of any associated discount mechanisms. Institutions registered as Authorized Quilt Buyers or AQB may purchase services from any of the AQPs under the basic terms stipulated in the Quilt MSA.

Who are the current Quilt Authorized Vendors?
The current AQPs are CenturyLink, Cogent Communications, GTT, TeliaCarrier, Verizon and Zayo.

How can my institution participate in the CIS program?
In order to purchase services via the Quilt CIS program, your institution must be a registered AQB. NYSERNet has registered all of its dues-paying members as AQBs. You must be a NYSERNet member to enroll as an AQB.

How can my institution become a member of NYSERNet?
To be considered for NYSERNet membership, your institution must meet NYSERNet’s membership requirements. You can learn more about NYSERNet membership here. If you believe your institution qualifies and you would like to join NYSERNet, you should contact Membership Managers, Sharon Akkoul (sakkoul@nysernet.org or 315-413-0345 x5201) or Larry Gallery (lgallery@nysernet.org or 315-413-0345 x5429).

Can’t my institution simply become a member of the Quilt instead?
The Quilt’s bylaws state that membership is open to: (i) non-profit regional network aggregators providing advanced network services in support of research and education, and/or (ii) organizations invited by the Quilt Steering Committee that demonstrate leadership and collaboration in advanced networking. None of NYSERNet’s members qualify under (i), though it is conceivable some might attempt to argue they qualify under (ii). You can learn about Quilt membership here: www.thequilt.net/about-us/how-to-join-membership-faq/. You can view a list of Quilt members here: www.thequilt.net/about-us/the-quilt-participants/.

Can NYSERNet share the AQP pricing with us?
NYSERNet can only provide budgetary costs. Most AQPs base their pricing on the aggregate bandwidth purchased by the AQBs. Thus as new bandwidth thresholds are reached, prices change. Additionally, not all AQPs price solely based upon provisioned bandwidth. Cross-connect, backhaul and other charges may apply. To understand all of the costs associated with connecting to any AQP, you need to get a price quotation from the AQP. NYSERNet is prepared to assist with this.

What is the process for securing services via the Quilt CIS program?
Contact NYSERNet to discuss your institution’s needs and the options available. (Not all Quilt providers serve all of the locations important to our members. Not all vendor services are available in all cities.) NYSERNet will work with you to obtain price quotations from the AQPs. Once you have selected the AQP and the service that is right for your institution, you will sign a service agreement directly with that AQP. The AQP will work with you to implement the service. Because the service agreement is between the institution and the AQP, NYSERNet is not a party to this service agreement and has no obligation to the institution.

Can my institution work directly with an AQP rather than through NYSERNet?
If you are already working with an AQP, you may continue to do so. Be sure to inform the AQP’s representative that your institution is an AQB. If you are not already working with an AQP but wish to, NYSERNet can provide you with vendor contact information.

What support services does NYSERNet provide my institution if we contract with an AQP?
NYSERNet can provide the following services, subject to consultation with your institution and identification of the exact nature and scope of the services you require and NYSERNet’s ability to fulfill these requirements:

  • Implementation Support — NYSERNet can work with your representatives and the vendor to guide the installation of your service.
  • Routing Options — NYSERNet can assist your institution with BGP setup, tuning, and with monitoring route propagation.
  • Advanced S ervices Advice — NYSERNet can help your institution configure and establish multicast and IPv6 services to the limits of your vendor’s network.
  • Education Services – NYSERNet provides access to many discounted courses and hosts two major conferences annually that members can attend.
  • Assistance with Chronic Problems — NYSERNet can provide troubleshooting advice and testing support to help diagnose chronic problems.