The Oregon Fiber Partnership has taken a step toward upgrading the state’s broadband by buying more than 1,500 miles of optical fiber from CenturyLink.
The partnership is composed of the Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, the Oregon Health & Science University and Portland State University.
“With this network, Oregon’s public universities will have the performance and statewide footprint needed to be able to fully engage in data intensive fields such as genomics, autonomous vehicles and precision agriculture,” said Jon Dolan, the interim vice provost of the University Information and Technology at Oregon State University in a press release.
Oregon Fiber Partnership
The partnership is working with the Network for Education and Research in Oregon (NERO) and the existing statewide network, which is based at the University of Oregon. The goal of the new network is to enhance NERO services to higher education, school districts, local and state agencies and non-profits. Traffic for state backbone networks of the state government, Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University will migrate to the new network over time. Activation will begin next summer.
The relationship between educational institutions and the Internet goes back decades to when the government wanted to decentralize Internet command and control in case of attack. At the same time, colleges and universities wanted fast and efficient ways to send large files to each other. Those drivers set the Internet on the course that has led it to where it is today. The relationship has remained tight because educational institutions can serve as anchor tenants, justifying the deployment of high-capacity backbones to or near areas that otherwise might not be economical to serve.
In addition to selling capacity to the Oregon Fiber Partnership, CenturyLink said in June that it had been selected as an authorized commercial Internet service provider by The Quilt, a national coalition of non-profit U.S. regional research and education networks. Quilt represents 40 networks and more than 900 educational institutions across the country.