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ORION live research network completes 400G trial


Toronto, ON – The Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION) has successfully completed the first North American field test of a high-capacity 400G live research, education and innovation (RE&I) network.

The test, which took place last week, marks the first time a dedicated RE&I network in North America has completed a 400G trial.

The test on the ORION network was conducted with Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) between ORION’s Point of Presence (PoP) on Front Street in downtown Toronto and another PoP located inside York University’s campus in North York.

The results of the test demonstrate the ORION network is 400G capable, which ORION says could open up new opportunities for Ontario researchers, educators and innovators as they collaborate on local, national and international projects.

ORION currently supports nearly 2 million users in colleges, universities, school boards, hospitals and other centres of innovation and learning. Ontario researchers and neuroscientists use big data in the Ontario Brain Institute’s Brain-CODE project, which involves transferring terabytes of genetic imaging and clinical data over the ORION network as they collaborate with one another.

ORION was the first in Canada to deploy a 100G network and remains one of the largest and fastest networks in the world. Its fibre-optic network has 27 points of presence across Ontario with connections to other RE&I and carrier networks.

Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch PSS powered by the 400G Photonic Service Engine (PSE) was used in the ORION field test. Similar field tests of this size of extreme data have been conducted elsewhere, but this represents the first field test conducted on a dedicated research and education network in North America.

“Ontario’s research, education and innovation communities depend on ORION’s digital infrastructure to develop solutions for the world’s toughest problems. Our user’s needs continue to expand exponentially, making this field test critical in preparing for future demand. ORION and Ontario will be ready,” says Dr. Darin Graham, ORION’s CEO and president.