About GETN

The Government Education and Training Network (GETN) is a network of Federal Government agencies using a common satellite carrier for interactive television (1-way video, 2way audio) in High Definition. This interoperable network allows the various user agencies to share distance learning programs and use common facilities. This HD-ITV service is provided by Hughes Network Systems in partnership with Convergent Media Systems, and is offered through a GSA contract, Com SatCom Solutions (CS2). Audio interaction is achieved using one of two systems: either a push-to-talk system provided by A.T. Products (used by all DOD and a few other agencies), or a student response unit provided by One Touch Systems (used mostly by civilian agencies).

GETN was conceived in 1992 at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, by the Air Force Institute of Technology and was based on the pioneering efforts in digital technology of the National Technological University of Ft Collins, Colorado. Development began with initial funding by the Air Force's Acquisition Professional Development Program and in partnership with the Army Logistics Management College at Ft Lee Virginia. GETN has grown from 2 uplinks (one at Wright-Patterson AFB and the other at Ft Lee, Virginia.) in 1993 to 4 digital-Ku-band satellite uplink broadcast centers reaching over 1,100 fixed-dish downlink sites located throughout the CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Additionally, through the Air Force, GETN can also reach sites in Germany, England, and Italy, Guam, Korea, Japan, and other sites in Southwest Asia. For a more detailed history of GETN, please visit http://www.enliten.net/getn2/getn/index.html.

GETN broadcasts approximately 10,000 hours per year. Department of Defense agencies include:

  • US Air Force, with 1 uplink (5 channel capacity), 9 broadcast centers, 213 downlinks, and 353 downlinks-the USAF uplink also acts as the Defense Education & Training Network (DETN) Hub
  • US Army, with 3 broadcast centers using the DETN Hub, 62 downlinks, 62 classrooms, and provides a gateway to the Army TNet and Classroom XXI VTC systems
  • Air National Guard, with 1 uplink (2 channel capacity), 2 broadcast centers, 191 downlinks, and 338 classrooms
  • Air Force Reserve, with 3 broadcast centers using the DETN Hub, 50 downlinks, and 86 classrooms
  • Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, with 1 broadcast center using the DETN Hub
  • US Navy, with 3 broadcast centers using the DETN Hub, 73 downlinks, and 73 classrooms
  • Joint, with 4 broadcast centers using the DETN Hub, 5 downlinks, and 5 classrooms

Other Federal Executive Agencies include:

  • Federal Aviation Administration, with 1 uplink (1 channel capacity), 1 broadcast center, 125 downlinks, and 162 classrooms
  • Department of Justice, with 1 uplink (3 channel capacity), 3 broadcast centers, 183 downlinks, and 506 classrooms
  • National Park Service, sharing the DETN uplink, with 235 downlinks and 235 classrooms

GETN meets a wide variety of training & education needs, and offers courses in such subjects as contract law acquisition mgt., environmental law, hazardous waste mgt., air pollution, safeguards & security, aircraft maintenance, professional military education, professional continuing education, communication courses, air traffic control, equal opportunity training, disease, disaster, detection, medical continuing education, terrorism response, veteran health issues, chaplain courses, management and leadership courses, and so forth.

With the Cisco platform, GETN also has the capacity to stream and store-and-forward digital video programs as well as datacast Internet Protocol courseware to servers across the world. GETN, therefore, not only offers its traditional ITV courses, but can be an effective bypass technology to the public Internet to offer distance learning anytime, anywhere, anyway.

As an outgrowth of using GETN, an organization was formed to encourage collaboration among the various Federal Government agencies in the use of video technologies. This organization is called the Government Alliance for Training & Education by Satellite (GATES) (http://gate.govdl.org). More information on GATES and GETN can be obtained from Dr. Philip Westfall, Director, Air Technology Network, and DETN General Manager, HQ Air University OL-A, (937) 904-5480 or DSN 674-5480, e-mail: philip.westfall@atn.wpafb.af.mil.

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DLR 05 Jun 2009