BIN Replacement Project FAQ

What is the Border Interconnect Network?

The University of Michigan’s Border Interconnect Network, or BIN, consists of border routers, which are specialized hardware devices that connect the institution’s network to the internet, acting as the gateway to the outside world.

Why is the BIN important?

The BIN mainly deals with internet traffic arriving to and leaving from the university. Its primary function is to manage the data exchange between these networks, ensuring that information is sent correctly from one location to another.

What areas are sponsoring the BIN replacement?

U-M’s Information and Technology Services is sponsoring the BIN replacement across the Ann Arbor campus and including Michigan Medicine.

The upgrade is being supported by an ITS project team that includes representatives from Health Information Technology and Services, Merit Network, and UM-Dearborn Information Technology Services, which are providing input, feedback, and expertise specific to their respective areas.

What is the scope of the BIN Replacement project?

The BIN Replacement project involves changing out two border routers.

How will the university be impacted during the replacement?

While the border routers are being replaced, there will be no impact on day-to-day operations for the university community.

Will units experience additional costs associated with the BIN replacement?

No, there will be no cost to schools, colleges, or units beyond the standard internet fees already being contributed.

When will the BIN replacement begin?

The upgrade effort began in February 2024 with the installation of new hardware and equipment.

How long will the replacement process last?

The upgrade activities are anticipated to continue until August 2024.

Why is there a need to replace these routers now?

One of the chief objectives of this undertaking is to increase U-M’s internet and Internet2 connection speeds. The new BIN routers will increase the amount of data that schools, colleges, and units can share with the internet, and between the Ann Arbor campus and the Michigan Medicine networks. This improvement will enable research data to be transmitted over the internet more rapidly than is currently available.

An added benefit is the increased growth potential for the university’s overall network.

When will the benefits of the replacement be available?

As early as Fall 2024, the university community—particularly faculty and researchers—will experience improved response times for data sharing.

Does the university community need to do anything while the replacement is underway?


Once this BIN Replacement project is complete, when should the university expect the next replacement to occur?

This investment in the university’s network is expected to meet the institution’s needs for the next six to eight years. Nevertheless, ITS remains agile and open to advancing the timeline for replacement should future networking standards or university requirements mandate doing so.

Are other academic institutions undertaking similar replacement projects?

Yes, but only a few universities in the world can compare to U-M because of the volume of research data the institution produces, which speaks to the impact of this replacement project.

Where should individuals direct questions about the BIN replacement project?

Individuals with questions about the project should email the project team at [email protected].