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ORANO, Bell Canada to Build Research Network

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TORONTO, Dec. 24 -- Optical Regional Advanced Network of Ontario (ORANO) and Bell Canada have announced a $25 million contract to deliver optical fiber and equipment for the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), which spans 3,700 kilometres -- one of the world's largest optical research and education networks.

The agreement concludes discussions between ORANO, Bell Canada and a group of allied companies, including Hydro One Telecom, Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems and several regional telcom providers. This arrangement enables ORANO to build and maintain its own broadband fiber network infrastructure.

ORION will link 21 communities across Ontario. Laid end-to-end, ORION's total optical fiber would stretch to 8,200 kilometres, the equivalent of one-fifth of the Earth's circumference, making it one of the largest and most powerful research networks ever built.

The network backbone features Nortel Networks' OPTera Long Haul 1600 optical line system and Cisco System's 7600-series routers. Two individual strands of fiber optic cable, which ORION has acquired for 20 years, form the physical backbone of the network, inter-connecting each of the network's 22 points of presence.

It will offer optical wavelength capacities at 10 Gb/s, scalable to 320 Gb/s, using technology incorporating dense wavelength division multiplexing transmission capabilities and Layer 3 routing architecture to support real-time and high-bandwidth applications such as IP multipoint videoconferencing and grid computing.

Member institutions are currently developing proposals for projects that are now possible because of ORION, which include advanced applications involving biotechnology, grid computing and real-time collaborative research in several scientific disciplines. It is anticipated that ORION will be fully operational by Spring 2003.

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Dec 2002
CommunicationsNews & Features

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