PDT Staff Writer
Shawnee State University President Dr. Rita Rice Morris and Southern Ohio Medical Center President and CEO Randy Arnett were joined via video conference Tuesday with Gov. John Kasich and nine of the states higher education institutions as the state activated its OARnet 100 Gigabit Network.
In May, Kasich announced SSU would be included in Phase 2 of the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) expansion.
According to SSU, their inclusion in the project was, made possible with the support of Kasich, Representative Terry Johnson, and Senate President Tom Niehaus. This inclusion means an increase in Shawnee State’s bandwidth capacity from its current one gigabyte to an eventual 100 gigabytes, aiding in increased research capabilities, advancements with high-tech areas such as gaming simulation and economic development.
“This opens a world of possibilities for us, it gives us a tool we haven’t had before. From our perspective as an institution, one of the first things it does is it allows us to keep growing at the pace we are going, in terms of enhancing our programs and bringing more data opportunities for the researchers on the faculty,” Morris said. “This will allow our students have access to things they have not had access to before. The possibilities are limitless. Some of the possibilities nobody has thought of yet but, that’s one of the nice things about this.”
Morris said one of the programs that will take advantage of this network is the Digital Simulation and Gaming program.
“One of the greatest capabilities of this program is that we can collaborate with community partners who need this access. By working together, we can work together to help grow their business and meet the needs of the region,” Morris said.
Arnett said to have this type of connectivity in partnership with SSU is a great thing.
“To have this type of connectivity to do research with the university, doing research with Ohio State, Cleveland or Case Western has now been made easier. We use this now and into the future to connect to tertiary care centers. We use it for neurosciences and will be using it for pediatrics and cancer research just to name a few,” Arnett said.
“This (OARnet) is the equivalent of a super highway for data, but it very nearly did not happen. I was able to present a persuasive argument for making sure our portion of this system did not get erased,” Johnson said. “I compared it to the Interstate Highway system. We were supposed to get one of those back in the 60s, but it was rubbed out. That fateful turn of events did nothing but hurt us from the standpoint of growth and economic development. This super high speed Internet offered by OARnet is crucial to not only Shawnee State but to our entire region, it is key to helping us create jobs in the future, and I am proud that I was able to fight to make it a reality.”
This new network was first announced during Kasich’s 2012 State of the State address.
According to released information, “Kasich announced the State of Ohio led by the Ohio Board of Regents and the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), would increase the speed of the state’s research and education network from 10 to 100 Gigabits per second by the end of the year. On Dec. 11 Gov. Kasich announced that the network upgrade was completed on time and on budget.”
In a question and answer fact sheet provided by OARnet, the question was asked, how fast is 100 Gigabits per second?
At 100 Gbps, is data equivalent to 80 million file cabinets filled with text can be transferred daily. Every one of Ohio’s 1.8 million enrolled K-12 students can simultaneously download an ebook, 300,000 X-rays can be transmitted in just one minute and 8.5 million electronic medical records can be transmitted in one minute.”
The cities that OARnet connects include Portsmouth, Akron, Athens, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Wooster and Youngstown.
For more information about OARnet visit them at, www.oar.net.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org.