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June 3, 2004 :: Oklahoma Now on the National LambdaRail Map

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The National LambdaRail Consortium (NLR) announced earlier this week that OneNet, a division of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, is one of six new members in an ultra-fast fiber network that is 100 times faster than the conventional Internet. If the Internet is like a crowded superhighway, the NLR is like dozens of high-speed bullet trains traveling with unprecedented speed and reliability.

NLR is a major initiative of U.S. research universities and private-sector technology companies to provide a national-scale infrastructure for research and experimentation in networking technologies and applications. NLR aims to enable research to be done in ways that are currently not possible. Further, it will reenergize innovative network research that goes beyond “incremental” evolution of Internet technologies and enable all layers of network research and development, application-level experiments and production traffic to coexist on the same infrastructure.

“This initiative will move Oklahoma to the forefront of high-end research, playing to its strengths in weather forecasting, energy, sensors, biotechnology, aerospace, telecommunications, transport and logistics, and high-energy physics,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “Oklahoma researchers will become substantially more competitive for federal research funding, helping to change Oklahoma from a net donor state to a net recipient state. It will also facilitate creation of new technologies and markets, thereby stimulating economic development.”

OneNet, Oklahoma’s official telecommunications network for education, government and research, will be offering its statewide network infrastructure and collaborating with WilTel Communications Group Inc., a Tulsa-based telecommunications company, to link to the NLR and provide immediate access to Oklahoma’s research institutions.

WilTel leveraged its fiber-optic network assets and relationship with the NLR to lower the cost of entry for the state, supporting its initiative to help Oklahoma become the “Research Capital of the Plains.” By donating fiber, WilTel provided additional connectivity for both NLR and OneNet to facilitate the state's connection to NLR's nationwide network for research and experimentation.

The Oklahoma NLR link will provide a vital north/south connection and is expected to be operational by late this year.