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World Beat (July 01, 2001)

Waterloo to get high-speed networkOntario's Waterloo region will soon be the recipient of one of North America's largest and most modern high-speed, fiber-optic network systems. Together with 3Com Cor...

July 1, 2001  

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Waterloo to get high-speed network

Ontario’s Waterloo region will soon be the recipient of one of North America’s largest and most modern high-speed, fiber-optic network systems. Together with 3Com Corp. of Mississauga, ON, the Waterloo Region Education and Public Network (WREPNet) unveiled a network that will offer school boards the foundation needed to provide more than 80,000 local students with Internet-based and distance-learning programs.

Using the 3Com Gigabit Ethernet network, 227 sites (including 169 schools and education centres) will have reliable high-speed connectivity. Students will be able to rapidly download web sites and multimedia presentations during Internet-based learning sessions.

When fully operational later this year, the network will also enable teachers to incorporate videoconferencing into daily studies. W

Lucent and PT Telkom to build network

Lucent Technologies of Murray Hill, NJ has signed two contracts with PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk, the leading provider of local and domestic long-distance telecom services in Indonesia, to build a nation-wide intelligent network and a multimedia access infrastructure in the Jakarta area. The combined value of the contracts is US$17.5 million.

In addition to advanced data networking and access equipment, Lucent will provide a range of services, including professional design and engineering expertise as well as installation service.

As part of the terms of the larger contract, worth US$13.4 million, Lucent will enhance PT Telkom’s Intelligent Network infrastructure, enabling it to offer its customers services such as prepaid calling and tele-voting, a form of interactive television entertainment. The first stage of implementation is scheduled for completion by the end of September. W

Simon Fraser to use Enterasys system

Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC has selected the RoamAbout wireless solution from Enterasys Networks, Rochester, NH as part of a new pilot program in its teacher education curriculum.

Via a mobile lab of laptop computers on a portable trolley and various wireless workshops enabled by the RoamAbout technology, the pilot program aims to instruct and showcase innovative ways in which teachers can integrate technology in the classroom to enhance the learning environment.

RoamAbout Access Points provide 802.11b standard-based wireless connectivity within the University’s Educational Building. RoamAbout PC Cards seamlessly connect to different access points as the laptops “roam” throughout the building. In addition, the Faculty of Business has set up Access Points for a small pilot in the Business School. Wireless PC cards have been given to select students who have agreed to report feedback on wireless access.

Simon Fraser University is also migrating its network infrastructure from ATM to multiple trunked Fast Ethernet links. Once its fiber-optic cabling implementation is completed, the University will upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet to support increased usage of high-bandwidth applications, such as video streaming.W

TLC partners with Avaya and Cygnal

TLC Laser Eye Centers, the largest provider of laser vision correction services in the world, has partnered with Avaya Inc. of Basking Ridge, NJ and Cygnal Technologies of Oshawa, ON, to improve call centre operations.

TLC is using Avaya’s call centre systems to increase response time and efficiency in its North American help desk and customer contact centre. Cygnal Technologies’ telecom networks division, Accord Communications, installed Avaya’s CentreVu Internet Solutions and INTUITY 5.0 server.

Cygnal Technologies is rolling out the call centre implementation in two phases, the first of which is already complete. In this phase, TLC enlarged the scope of its help desk capabilities by increasing the ways its support staff members can communicate with its 1,000 internal clients — such as text chat, e-mail, fax, or return voice calls.

Roger Mcllmoyle, IT manager, TLC Laser Eye Centers, says the technology has had a great impact on response time. He says that prior to implementing the new technology, “all our calls and emails went through one entry point, creating congestion and low accuracy rates during high-volume call cycles. The Avaya solution now drives these messages to our agents and distributes the queries evenly, helping to ensure that all calls are handled quickly and effectively by the most appropriate person.”

In the second phase of the implementation, which will begin this quarter, TLC will extend these benefits to its external call centre, which services its North American client base. W

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