Group effort skyrockets Mount Royal University’s Research and Education Network connection

Students in computer lab smallStudents and researchers at Mount Royal University now connect to CyberaNet at higher speeds —€” and with more bandwidth —€” than ever before, thanks to a collaboration of post-secondary, municipal and networking partners. In the past month, the institution has connected to the City of Calgary'€™s fibre optic network, allowing its network capacity to increase to upwards of 10 Gbps.

Boosting Mount Royal University'€™s bandwidth means students and researchers will be better able to carry out projects involving data-intensive video and design projects, and collaborate with more international research partners.

This increased capacity was achieved by connecting Mount Royal University to CyberaNet, Alberta'€™s not-for-profit, super high-speed research and education network, which directly peers with major Internet sites such as Google, YouTube and Microsoft, as well as research institutions around the world. This ultra-fast network connects nearly 90 per cent of Alberta's post-secondary students.

Getting the fibre-optic connection in place was no easy task. The University needed to connect to The City of Calgary'€™s fibre optic network system, which in turn connects —€” through CyberaNet —€” to other research universities in Alberta, including the University of Alberta and the University of Lethbridge.

The cost of connecting to the urban network system was too high for the University to carry out alone. But by partnering with a nearby fire station that was also looking to increase its network capacity, the project got the momentum it needed. Several organizations contributed to making the connection happen, including The City of Calgary, Cybera, CANARIE (which operates the national research and education network), and the Alberta Association in Higher Education for Information Technology (through a joint funding proposal by Mount Royal University, NAIT and MacEwan University).

Michael Barr, Mount Royal'€™s Chief Information Officer, notes: "Connecting to The City of Calgary's fibre network and CyberaNet moves MRU from a single lane road to a superhighway, benefiting all aspects of the University, especially teaching and learning, scholarly work and student success."

"€œWe are proud to partner with Mount Royal University to install fibre optic infrastructure to enable shared systems between Alberta'€™s academic institutions," adds Heather Reed-Fenske, Manager of Innovation & Collaboration at The City of Calgary. "€œOur community relies on innovation, and it'€™s rewarding to make the fibre infrastructure connection a reality."

Going forward, Mount Royal University will explore further opportunities that its CyberaNet connection brings, including delivering efficiencies and new collaborations between Alberta'€™s educators.

Backgrounder

About Cybera

Cybera is a not-for-profit technology-neutral organization responsible for accelerating technology adoption in Alberta. Its core role is to oversee the development and operations of Alberta'€™s cyberinfrastructure —€” the advanced system of networks and computers that keeps government, educational institutions, not-for-profits, business incubators and entrepreneurs at the forefront of technological change.

About Mount Royal

Mount Royal University is one of Canada's top destinations for undergraduate studies. It offers small class sizes and personalized student services within a scholarly community renowned for academic excellence and a focus on teaching and learning. Founded in 1910, Mount Royal remains dedicated to the success of its students. Today, over 12,500 credit students take a variety of programs and courses including bachelor'€™s degrees and diplomas. More than 85,000 Mount Royal alumni are contributing to their communities world-wide.