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New high-speed network will improve education and research in New Brunswick

Author: Communications

Posted on Nov 19, 2011

Category: In the Media

Partners in the Optical Regional Advanced Network say the launch of a high-speed network will improve New Brunswick's capacity for research and educational collaboration.

A group of approximately 50 university representatives, partners, stakeholders and government officials involved in the project from across the province gathered at the NRC Institute for Information Technology on Friday morning for the official unveiling of the network.

A joint initiative funded by the province, CANARIE Inc., New Brunswick's four public universities, the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, the National Research Council of Canada and the New Brunswick Community College, the network features extensive fibre installations, improved bandwidth and state-of-the-art equipment.

Valued at approximately $11 million, the network also includes a predictable pricing model for the partners for at least 10 years, with plenty of opportunity to continuing improving the network.

Jim Ghadbane, chief technical officer of CANARIE Inc., said the network will benefit scientists, researchers and innovators in the province.

"What it means for teachers and students is greater access to a wide range of innovative resources delivered right to the classroom at very high speeds," he said.

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University of New Brunswick president Eddy Campbell said having access to the network will provide students and researchers at UNB with opportunities to improve research and collaboration at the university.

"This is essential 21st-century infrastructure, and it's as good as anywhere in the world," he said.

"It levels the playing field for citizens of New Brunswick. It's fantastic ... The better the stuff in the walls, the better the experience is for the people who are using it."

But as exciting as it is to have the new, state-of-the-art infrastructure, Campbell said, the biggest benefit is to New Brunswickers will be the doors it opens in terms of opportunities.

"As exciting as it is to have the latest and greatest toy, it's even more exciting what's going to be done with it," he said.

"It really is research that's going to change the world."

Read the full story at The Daily Gleaner. For more background, see: New high-speed network improves NB’s research and educational capacity