Third Frontier Network Assists Homeland Security Through Real-Time, Interactive Training

Perrysburg, OH - June 7, 2004 – Ohio’s Third Frontier Network (TFN), the nation’s most advanced research network, will assist the Great Lakes Educational Consortium for Homeland Security Training in regional first-response and anti-terrorism efforts. TFN initiatives that strengthen northwest Ohio’s defense efforts were highlighted today at Owens Community College.

"Technological contributions such as the Third Frontier Network are fundamental to both the economic and national security of the Fifth District and the State of Ohio," said Congressman Paul Gillmor (R-Old Fort). "The network will play a vital role in securing Ohio's place in winning the war on terrorism."

TFN will link Owens, the University of Findlay and higher education consortium members to area police, fire and emergency personnel for seminars, consultation and equipment demonstrations. The network will allow fire and police departments to conduct exercises, via distance learning, on a variety of simulated terrorist incidents, emergency hazards and natural disasters.

“Advanced networking technologies such as the Third Frontier Network will speed up collaborations and reduce costs for training a stronger, better workforce,” said Rod Chu, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. “This network will foster partnerships on a much broader scale than before, using dedicated, secure channels for emergency management training.”

Last month, Owens broke ground for a 110-acre Fire and Police Training Center for Professional Development and Homeland Security. It features a simulation chamber and command center for regional anti-terrorism and computer and science laboratories. The center’s construction will include fiber-optic cable connected to a computerized video system to allow real-time observations of training exercises from remote locations.

“The application of the Third Frontier Network to homeland security training will put Ohio on the cutting edge,” said Paul Unger, Owens State Community College provost. “No other facility is utilizing this type of technology to reach the various volunteer fire departments, rural police departments and other agencies that do not have funding or time for staff to leave their communities to participate in training.”

OARnet, the Ohio Supercomputer Center’s (OSC) networking division, has installed optical fiber routers and equipment at the Toledo area point-of-presence, or POP. The statewide TFN backbone is scheduled to be operational by Autumn 2004, with colleges and universities connected by September.

“The Third Frontier Network will support enhanced educational collaborations such as the Great Lakes Educational Consortium for Homeland Security,” said Al Stutz, OARnet director. “TFN’s speed and dedicated research channels offer collaborators the ability to conduct ‘hands-on’ interactions that occur in real-time across great distances.”

TFN is a technology initiative of the Ohio Board of Regents. It is built by OARnet in partnership with education and industry partners such as Ohio SchoolNet, Ohio Department of Education, Buckeye Telesystems, SBC and Cisco. TFN is the most extensive high speed, fiber-optic network dedicated to higher education in the nation. With government, academic and industry partners, TFN will position the state of Ohio as a world leader in networking technology and the knowledge economy. For more information on TFN, please visit www.tfn.oar.net.

For more information, contact:

Ohio Board of Regents:
Jamie Abel, Assistant Director of Communications
614-644-1988, jabel@regents.state.oh.us

Bret Crow, Assistant Director of Communications
614-752-9480, bcrow@regents.state.oh.us

Ohio Supercomputer Center/OARnet:
Kathryn Kelley, Director of Outreach
614-292-6067, kkelley@osc.edu

Owens State Community College:
Jennifer Fehnrich, Director of Public Relations and Marketing
419-661-7205, jfehnrich@owens.edu

Ohio SchoolNet:
Carly Glick, Communications Officer
614-728-1886, glick@osn.state.oh.us

Photos from the event are available from:
Ian MacConnell, OSC Senior Graphic Designer
614-292-9319, ian@osc.edu