The Ohio Academic Resource Network (OARnet) is partnering with Connecticut-based telecommunications company Frontier Communications to combine their respective fiber-optic networks in order to provide more and improved broadband services to Ohio education and government organizations.
Frontier Senior Vice President Dave Davidson described the new partnership as “a major milestone for our company.” The collaboration combines OARnet’s 1,850-mile fiber network with the 4,800 miles of fiber that Frontier already maintains in Ohio. Together, the newly enlarged network will allow for the expansion of services to more of the state’s K-12, higher education, and government entities, especially in rural areas.
“We believe statewide broadband availability, particularly in underserved regions, is vital to the future of Ohio’s governmental infrastructure, as well as providing 21st century technology to enhance Ohio’s K-12 and university systems,” said Stu Davis, state chief information officer.
OARnet is part of the Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH), an umbrella organization for the state’s technology infrastructure and a division of the Ohio Board of Regents. OARnet was established in 1987 to deliver technology-based solutions that reduce costs and increase productivity through networking and other technology services to the state’s education, healthcare, public broadcasting, and government communities.
The new agreement with Frontier follows a recent expansion of the state’s broadband backbone run by OARnet; that expansion boosted network speeds from 10 Gigabits to 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps). The network will benefit research capabilities and job-creating assets across Ohio’s medical, higher education, manufacturing, and engineering corridors for years to come.