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World Beat (January 01, 2001)

Laval School Board gets wiredA new high-speed fiber-optic network that will interconnect 160 educational and municipal establishments has been launched in Laval, Quebec.The project, a joint-effort by ...

January 1, 2001  

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Laval School Board gets wired

A new high-speed fiber-optic network that will interconnect 160 educational and municipal establishments has been launched in Laval, Quebec.

The project, a joint-effort by the Laval School Board and QubecTel Group, will provide approximately 45,000 schoolchildren and 2,500 teachers with universal access to the Internet and a variety of educational tools. It will make possible a variety of new applications for users, including the creation of electric portfolios for students, computer-based training, and automatic archiving of digital data.

In addition to linking schools and other institutions, the network will offer interconnection with neighbouring school boards. W

Government of Alberta awards networking deal

The Government of Alberta has contracted a consortium of leading global and provincial technology organizations, headed by Bell companies, to build and implement a $300 million high-speed, fiber-optic grid connecting 420 municipalities with high-speed broadband communication services.

To deliver the initiative, Bell, its operating units Bell Intrigna and Bell Nexxia, and Axia have formed a public/private sector consortium that includes Nortel Networks, Cisco, Microsoft, Wi-Lan, Total Telecom, 360 Networks and Netricom Communications Solutions.

The province will provide $193 million of the $300 million pricetag to build the network, on which the government will serve as the anchor tenant. It is expected that the network will take three years to deploy. Once complete, approximately 90 per cent of Albertans will have high-speed Internet access.

The initiative will link any community in Alberta that has a school, hospital, library or provincial government office to other communities via high-speed telecommunication lines. The goal is to give Albertans in all regions direct access to information and services not locally available.

“At its heart, our strategy offers a way to provide everyone, both in rural and urban areas, with equal access at equal cost to the best information and services available, while at the same time, fostering economic diversification,” says the Honourable Lorne Taylor, Alberta’s Minister of Innovation and Science.

The project is part of a government strategy that looks at Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a means to improve quality of life and build sustainable prosperity for Albertans. The strategy encompasses four priorities, including development of the fiber-optic infrastructure, investment in education, growth in ICT research and development and expansion of ICT-based industry.W

Sheridan College gets up to speed

Williams Communications Canada, Inc. and Cisco Systems Canada Co., Toronto, have teamed up to deploy a state-of-the-art IP Telephony network at Sheridan College in Oakville, ON.

The new network, which will provide the students with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology and global access to multimedia content, is being installed at the College’s new technology centre — the Sheridan Centre for Animation and Emerging Technologies (SCAET).

Systems integrator Williams Communications Canada, Inc. of Toronto is overhauling the current campus network with the IP convergence technology supported by Cisco Systems. The converged infrastructure will integrate voice, data and multimedia traffic onto one network.

Cisco’s technology is being used to build the VoIP network infrastructure. Voice and data labs are equipped with Cisco router, switching, voice and multimedia products.

Williams also partnered with sister-company Williams Communications Vyvx Services to install and support a dedicated fiber point-of-presence (POP) that will transmit and receive broadcast-quality video.

“The Vyvx POP and IP network facilitate the transmission of broadcast-quality multimedia content in real time, with virtually any major user, enabling Sheridan’s students to work in a full-service production facility,” says Ron Dekker, president of Williams Communications Canada, Inc. “Students are able to share animation and multimedia content with production studios across the world.”

A Cisco AVVID (Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data) system is also being deployed to construct the VoIP network. AVVID includes IP/TV (for streaming video programs to PC users) and IP/VC (for video conferencing), which will give students the opportunity to learn to implement end-to-end video communications over IP networks.

Sheridan’s current traditional voice services network will also be converted to a new, fully converged campus-wide IP environment.

Williams will install and maintain related equipment for the SCAET Labs, add 3,000 data ports onto the campus network and create a wireless infrastructure to support mobile computing and connectivity.W

360networks completes cable landing station

Broadband service provider 360networks of Vancouver has officially opened its US$52 million cable landing station in Southport, UK. The new 24,000-square-foot station, located just north of Liverpool, is one of four landing stations for 360atlantic — an $850 million transatlantic fiber-optic cable under development by the company. The 11,700-kilometre cable will be among the first transatlantic submarine cables to support 10 Gbps of data on a single channel, and offer total system capacity of 1.92 terabits per second.

“Southport will be the main gateway for international data traffic between North America and Europe on 360atlantic,” says Scott Lyons, VP of the marine division at 360networks.

When 360atlantic enters commercial service in the first quarter of this year, it will connect Southport directly with Dublin, Boston and Halifax and indirectly with London and New York, on a self-healing network ring. Southport is the landing point for two submarine cables — a 5,300-kilometre cable from Halifax and a 240-kilometre cable from Dublin.

The Southport landing station connects with 360networks’ 18,000-kilometre European network. This European network will provide long-haul connectivity between 35 major cities in 11 countries and include 25 city rings. W

Nortel unveils plans for India

Brampton, Ontario-based Nortel Networks has unveiled what it calls a “work plan” that will bring high-speed Internet capabilities to consumers and businesses in India. The plan will see Nortel spend up to US$350 million over the next three years in that country.

Clarence Chandran, COO of Nortel, says the company will “invest in India’s Internet infrastructure, grow its Internet workforce, stimulate technology exports and allocate a percentage of network bandwidth to educational and social initiatives.”

Nortel’s initiative will include creating an Internet infrastructure that links major commerce centres, and working with local operators and others to build 10-gigabit optical networks that will bring the Internet to users.

In addition, the company also plans to hire 500 scientists and engineers, expand software development activities and establish a Centre of Excellence with leading Indian universities to advance R&D and training. Nortel also plans to open an Internet Knowledge Centre for developing Internet expertise in technologies, applications and professional services.

In India, Nortel currently has offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. W

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