OSCnet Project in Cleveland Provides Ohio Connection to Advanced National Research and Education Network

COLUMBUS, Ohio — April 24, 2007 — Ohio students, faculty, and researchers will no longer have to look out-of-state for access to the most advanced nationwide network in the United States, thanks to a project in Cleveland that connects Ohio’s research and education network – OSCnet – to the new Internet2 Network.

“We are extremely pleased to gain an in-state presence on the Internet2 Network,” said Pankaj Shah, director of OSCnet and a member of the Internet2 Governance and Nominations committee. “This connection will not only provide Ohio with a strong network connection to the rest of the nation and the world, but also give Ohio a prominent role in the operation of this cutting-edge national network.”

Internet2 is a non-profit, advanced networking consortium of U.S. universities, corporations, government agencies, research laboratories and international organizations that brings together research and academia with technology leaders in industry, government, and international communities. OSCnet is the most advanced statewide research and education network in the nation, serving Ohio’s K-12 schools, colleges and universities, research hospitals and public television stations and connecting to the world key regional rings, such as the Cincinnati Education and Research Fiber, the Central Ohio Research Network and the OneCommunity ring in northeast Ohio.

OSCnet member institutions previously connected to Internet2 through a node in Indianapolis. American Fiber Systems Inc. of Rochester, New York, recently received contract approval from the state Controlling Board to provide the fiber connections between OSCnet and the Internet2 node in Cleveland.

In additional to gaining an Ohio presence on the high-performance network, the timing of the OSCnet project provides Ohio with an early connection to the current deployment of a next-generation version of the Internet2 Network. The first phase of the deployment includes Cleveland and other sites such as New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago and Boston. Later phases will feature connections in places such as Atlanta, Indianapolis, Denver, Seattle and Los Angeles.

“The combination of the new Internet2 Network and OSCnet will provide researchers the capacity to reliably exchange in seconds data sets measured in the trillions of characters,” said Paul Schopis, director of network engineering for the Ohio Supercomputer Center and chairperson of the Internet2 Network Technical Advisory Committee.

“This high-capacity bandwidth will allow Ohio researchers to exchange large files, such as medical researchers in two states examining in real-time a high-resolution, three-dimensional magnetic resonance image (MRI) of a patient,” Schopis said. “It also will offer professors and students in Ohio the opportunity to employ more sophisticated technologies like videoconferencing for live language, cultural and other educational interactions with people all over the world.”

Members of OSCnet will be able to tap into already established programs, like Bob Ballard's immersion project to receive live interactive undersea exploration demonstrations from divers in remote locations around the world, or Megaconference Jr., an annual Ohio Supercomputer Center project that uses videoconferencing technology to bring together thousands of students in elementary and secondary schools from around the world for an all-day learning conference.

The Internet2 connection also allows Ohio researchers to collaborate with colleagues in other states to develop and test on the new network advanced technologies that will make their way into the equipment and software used as part of the next generation of the commercial Internet. Just as email and the World Wide Web were created on earlier research networks, the new Internet2 Network will allow members to develop advanced network applications such as remote access to unique scientific instruments.

Earlier this month, researchers from the Ohio State University demonstrated how colleagues in northeast Ohio could “share” over OSCnet an expensive electron microscope situated on the Columbus campus of OSU. These types of advances in network technology are greatly expanding learning opportunities and saving organizations millions of dollars.

Ohio Supercomputer Center: Celebrating 20 years of service, the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) is a catalytic partner of Ohio universities and industries that provides a reliable high performance computing and high performance networking infrastructure for a diverse statewide/regional community including education, academic research, industry, and state government. Funded by the Ohio Board of Regents, OSC promotes and stimulates computational research and education in order to act as a key enabler for the state's aspirations in advanced technology, information systems, and advanced industries.

For additional information, visit http://www.osc.edu.
For a map of OSCnet, visit http://www.osc.edu/oscnet/.

Internet2: Internet2 is the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium. Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 promotes the missions of its members by providing both leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. By bringing research and academia together with technology leaders from industry, government and the international community, Internet2 promotes collaboration and innovation that has a fundamental impact on the future of the Internet.

For additional information, visit http://www.internet2.edu.
For a map of the Internet2 Network, visit http://www.internet2.edu/network/images/network_map.png.