Governor Kasich announces 10-fold boost to Ohio's broadband network

February 07, 2012

Ohio will soon see a ten-fold boost to its broadband network speeds, which will benefit research and job-creating assets statewide. Governor John R. Kasich made the announcement at his State of the State address in Steubenville today, highlighting the first ever state-led initiative that will leverage astonishing network speeds of 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps) to advance research and job growth across Ohio's medical research, higher education, manufacturing, engineering and technology networking corridors.

"This is a game changer for Ohio. These almost unfathomable speeds are highly sought by leading researchers and job creators in competitive markets around the world," Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro said. "This will solidify Ohio's standing as a technology leader thanks to the vision of our many public and private partners."

Under a recently approved agreement with Cisco and Juniper, Ohio will invest approximately $10 million to harness new innovative technology that will, in essence, "open the faucet" of Ohio's current broadband infrastructure, over 1,800 miles of fiber, from its current 10 Gbps capacity to 100 Gbps. At this speed, every one of Ohio's 1.8 million enrolled K-12 students could download an eBook simultaneously in just over two minutes.

This expansion leverages the fiber optic network operated by OARnet, a member of the Ohio Board of Regents Ohio Technology Consortium. The 100 Gbps network will connect Ohio's major metropolitan areas to northern and southern connection points of Internet2, a nationwide advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community, spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government.

For the network, $8.1 million will fund hardware development for Phase 1, which will connect Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo by June 2012 and Phase 2 markets of Akron, Athens and Youngstown by October 2012.

Ohio public and private partners also will invest $2.3 million in a state-of-the-art innovation center that will enable and test 100 Gbps technologies and promote the development of compelling broadband, software and advanced technology applications. Located at The Ohio State University, the center will operate in research collaboration with Internet2, NSF-Future Internet Infrastructure (GENI), UC-Berkeley and other national laboratories.

Today's groundbreaking announcement is well received from many companies and organizations that currently utilize Ohio's robust technology resources:

Tom Lange, Procter & Gamble's Director of Corporate Research and Development Modeling and Simulation: "This is a big win for Ohio. It puts us on the 21st Century Digital Highway, which will help big businesses, mid-sized companies and small developing firms. At P&G, Ohio's Supercomputing capacity and the high-speed network that supports it, allows P&G to model and simulate our products, and production systems, thus lowering costs and improving consumers experiences with our products. For small and mid-sized Ohio companies, many of which are P&G suppliers, this game changing 'data highway' upgrade gives them greater access to and use of modeling & simulation that can improve their products and thus help their businesses grow and to compete globally."

Dr. Philip Payne, Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics at The Ohio State University and Executive Director for the Center for IT Innovation in Healthcare: "Analyzing complex genomic information in order to deliver healthcare informed by the most up to date science consumes massive amounts of data. Until now, the speed and capacity needed to transmit this data between research facilities and healthcare systems throughout the state was non-existent and we had to physically ship large external hard drives between institutions. At these new speeds and bandwidth, we will now be able to transmit enormous genomic data sets with the click of a button to anyone connected to the network in just minutes. This is an incredible technological breakthrough for the medical research and clinical care communities, and will lead to improvements in health for every Ohioan."

Caroline Whitacre, Vice President for Research for The Ohio State University: "Ohio's research broadband backbone is already the envy of many other states. Accelerating its capacity to 100 Gbps will make Ohio even more attractive to medical research, manufacturing, engineering and other technology sectors. This will put Ohio far ahead of the pack in university research collaboration and competition for federal grants."
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Ohio Supercomputer Center

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