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High-speed network to facilitate research in Ontario


Toronto, ON — January 28, 2003 — A plan to create an Ontario-wide, high-speed, fibre-optic-based research network called the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION) has been unveiled by the Ontario government.

When fully operational, network connection points in 21 communities will link the province’s 43 post-secondary institutions and more than 50 publicly funded research institutes and organizations with their colleagues around the world.

Not-for-profit organization Optical Regional Advanced Network of Ontario (ORANO) has been charged with responsibility for implementing ORION. The system is expected to be operational this spring.

Among other things, the system will enable multiple computers to work on a problem simultaneously or to access large-scale computing resources not available locally; and it will provide shared and ready access to large genomic and biotech databases; as well as collaborative modelling for physics and advanced-materials research. Locations in Ontario will include:

– Barrie – Georgian College
– Belleville – Loyalist College
– Durham – Durham College/University of Ontario Institute of Technology
– Guelph – University of Guelph
– Hamilton – McMaster University
– Kingston – Queen’s University
– London – University of Western Ontario
– North Bay – Nipissing University/Canadore College
– Oakville – Sheridan College
– Ottawa – City of Ottawa
– Peterborough – Sir Sandford Fleming College
– St. Catharines – Brock University
– Sarnia – Lambton College
– Sault Ste. Marie – Sault College
– Sudbury – Laurentian University
– Thunder Bay – Lakehead University
– Timmins – Northern College
– Toronto – University of Toronto and York University
– Waterloo – University of Waterloo
– Welland – Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology
– Windsor – University of Windsor

Funding for the project is expected to total $78 million over the next three years, and will come from both public and private sources. Public money is from the Ontario and federal governments. Private-sector partners include Hydro One Telecommunications, Nortel, Cisco Systems and several municipal electric utilities, through a consortium led by Bell Nexxia.