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Ontario and Michigan research networks achieve international connection

A different kind of traffic is flowing over the U.S.-Canada border today as Ontario and Michigan officially interco...


February 2, 2006  


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A different kind of traffic is flowing over the U.S.-Canada border today as Ontario and Michigan officially interconnect their high-speed optical research and education networks utilizing the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

The direct fiber connection is believed to be a first across international borders for regional research and education networks.

Officials from the City of Windsor, the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION) and Merit Network Inc., which operates Michigan’sresearch and education network, presided over the symbolic splice of optical fiber.

“This link is of immense future value to Ontario and Michigan,” said ORION president Phil Baker.

The new cross-border link, passing through the tunnel infrastructure, was marked at an official optical fiber splicing ceremony at Windsor City Halltoday.

“Merit’s member institutions are excited about this achievement,” said John Camp, CIO of Wayne State University and chair of the Merit Board ofDirectors. “We see this as a critical step in developing a Regional Optical Network (RON) in the Great Lakes Region. A Great Lakes RON will eliminategeographic barriers for cross-institutional and cross-border collaborative research.”

The new Detroit-Windsor connection has the capacity to transmit large amounts of data at very fast speeds. As an example, it can transmit the equivalent of a full data CD in just under a second.

Officials said there are also plans to boost the capacity from the current one gigabit per second link to multiple wavelengths.