A Consortium for Education, Communication and Technology

NEAT is one of six higher education regional networks in Minnesota. Together with the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, these six regional networks form the Minnesota Higher Education Learning Network.

As in all facets of life, evolving and emerging technologies have changed the teaching and learning experience. Distance education through interactive television (ITV) and online learning offerings has expanded learning opportunities for students and provided teachers and teaching institutions with new challenges. The NorthEast Alliance for Telecommunications (NEAT) exists to provide its members with the tools and support to help them meet these new challenges. NEAT supports its member's efforts by facilitating ITV, a converged high-speed network, and other services as required by members.

Minnesota's statewide-converged backbone is available for a full range voice, video, and data applications. NEAT is here to help its members explore and use these facilities. Although ITV is the most noticeable application supported, NEAT is working closely with members to increase network bandwidth and improve and expand telecommunication services.

NEAT's ITV facilities are available for credit and non-credit classes offered as distance learning option and expand class option for students. While using ITV, students can see and hear students at other class locations. They interact with other students and the instructor much as they would in a standard classroom environment. Students can see overhead exhibits or PC displays, transfer data between sites, and watch videos as required.

ITV facilities can also be an integral part of a school's total distance education curriculum and provide particular and singular solutions for the needs of a comprehensive hybrid course delivery scheme.

ITV facilities can also be used for meetings, interviews, and for the distribution of non-ITV programming such as that provide via satellite, MnSAT, broadcast, VCR, and PC display.