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Additional Internet access a gift to Miami
Miami University has received six fiber strands used for Internet high-speed broadband telecommunications as a gift from alumnus Robert C. Schuler (Miami '85) of Dublin, Ohio.
The strands of fiber are in the Butler County Fiber Optic Network loop connecting Oxford, Hamilton, Middletown and Evendale. Estimated value is more than $1 million.
Miami currently leases 12 strands of the Butler County Loop from Butler County for network communication among its three Ohio campuses. The loop, with 96 strands, delivers voice, data and video communication over a route of more than 100 miles. The completion of the loop brought high-speed connections to Miamis regional campuses in summer 2002, enabling the Middletown and Hamilton campuses to link into the university network just as though they were on the main campus.
County commissioners developed the network backbone to attract new high-tech businesses and to serve government offices, schools and existing businesses.
Direct access to county residents is under study.
If the cable is broken in any one place, the loop becomes a line, but it continues to work because data can flow in either direction, said Reid Christenberry, vice president of information technology services at Miami.
The six new strands will provide vastly improved connectivity to OARNet, the universitys Internet service provider, said Christenberry. They will connect Miami to the Third Frontier Network, a part of the governors Third Frontier Project to promote research and technology jobs in Ohio. They will be an important complement to the Cluster Ohio supercomputer installed at Miami this year, providing university researchers with a high-speed data connection to the supercomputer in Columbus.
A partnership of Miami, Butler County and NORMAP provided the original financing for the countys fiber backbone.
As we progress into the 21st century, availability of extreme bandwidth broadband communications will be one of the foundations of commerce and technology. Butler County is poised to provide for tomorrows needs today, and support from Miami University has made the countys program possible, said Charles Furmon, president of the Butler County board of commissioners.
Commissioner Michael Fox thanked Schuler for his leadership in helping bring advanced telecommunications to the county. Fox, a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, sponsored Ohios $500 million SchoolNet Plus Program and collaborated with county officials in early planning of the county fiber system.
With this gift, Miami will be able to integrate seamlessly with other educational institutions in the county and worldwide, Fox said. We will be able to extend the classroom into every room. There is virtually no limit to the functions of virtual links.
The donated fibers will also be used to connect fiber optics in Hamilton County to OARNet.
Miami expects to begin testing and deploying the new strands within the first half of this year.