An advanced network system installed this month in downtown Calgary will allow nearby education and public-sector institutions to reach network speeds of 10 Gbps — 100 times faster than what they currently achieve. The network point of presence will eventually be upgraded to 100 Gbps. With this powerful connection, local educators and researchers will be better able to carry out projects such as data-intensive video and gaming, hackathons, and international research collaborations.
The network system was installed in the downtown municipal complex by Cybera, Alberta's not-for-profit advanced technology agency, with funding support from CANARIE. The hardware connects municipal fibre to Alberta's dedicated research and education network, CyberaNet, creating a high-speed urban connection in Calgary.
Local schools, post-secondary institutions, and public organizations such as libraries can start building connections to this downtown hub to receive super-fast, almost unlimited bandwidth. This connection, through CyberaNet, will also be at a much lower price than what they currently pay for commercial networking.
"We are creating a hub for students and public agencies to access the fastest and most efficient network possible, at the most cost-efficient price," says Jean-Francois Amiot, Network and Operations Director for Cybera. "This advanced infrastructure will serve Calgary's online research and education needs for the next decade."
CyberaNet supports the education and public sectors by connecting them to the national ultra-high-speed CANARIE network, which in turn links them to an international system of research networks. Through the CANARIE network, CyberaNet also connects to major Internet Exchanges, which means it can provide members with direct links to popular websites such as Google, Desire2Learn, Facebook and others. Through this direct peering initiative, and a commercial bandwidth bundling group it created in 2012, Cybera has helped dramatically reduce internet costs for publicly funded institutions in Alberta.
"With unlimited broadband, we are creating unlimited innovation opportunities. Schools will be able to accommodate hundreds of students uploading or downloading huge data files or videos, and researchers will be able to quickly share and contribute to online simulation and data analytic projects," adds Amiot.
"CANARIE shares Cybera's vision to leverage its ultra-high-speed network to support cutting-edge innovation and create collaborative research and education opportunities," says Mark Wolff, CANARIE's Chief Technology Officer. "With this initiative, Cybera continues to connect Albertans to important research and education resources within Alberta, across Canada, and internationally."
Looking ahead, Cybera aims to increase its connections to Tier One internet providers in order to access even more affordable internet for its non-profit and education sector members. To find out more about Cybera and the research and education community it serves, visit the company's network information page.