Pacific Northwest Gigapop


News & Events

Portland Connected To Internet2 At Speed Of Light

For more information, contact:
Heather Sirr
WCI Cable, Inc.
Ph: 503-533-5552

HILLSBORO, OREGON - May 5, 1999 - WCI Cable, Inc.

The Pacific/Northwest GigaPoP, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland State University, the Oregon Graduate Institute and the University of Washington today announced that WCI Cable (WCIC) has become an Internet2 Corporate Partner. As part of its next generation Internet Corporate Partnership, WCIC is providing a high-speed fiber optic cable link connecting Portland, PSU, OGI and OHSU to the national Internet2 research and education network via the Pacific/Northwest GigaPoP.

This new next generation Internet-capable link, operating at 622 million bits per second, is more than 100 times faster than the previous Internet connections for these locations. It is also more than 20,000 times faster than a typical modem, and extends unprecedented advanced networking capabilities to Oregon's academic, clinical research, and R&D communities. This link will be a key factor in enabling the continued competitiveness of local technology businesses in the Internet economy of the future.

It will catalyze the potential for delivering robust real time Internet-based applications such as interactive videoconferencing, tele-immersion, telemedicine, HDTV, on demand video, telephony, multimedia and shared virtual reality. In addition, it will enable new forms of network-aware and adaptive applications, and deliver the 'trust fabric' middleware needed for truly pervasive electronic business.

Oregon Graduate Institute President Dr. Edward Thompson said, "This far-sighted collaboration provides Portland's Research Universities with the facilities and the institutional partners necessary for our region's continued growth. The collective base of complementary knowledge and skills brought together by this initiative will enable the leading research and educational institutions in the Northwest to create and benefit from the next generation of Internet applications and content. Our students and faculty will now be able to play significant roles in the evolution of advanced networking and networked applications."

In addition to providing this advanced network infrastructure, WCI Cable technical staff is actively participating with Internet2, the Pacific/Northwest GigaPoP, and partner universities in exploring the network, content, and applications possibilities inherent in such technologies.

"The new Internet2 capabilities this provides will allow us to realize the promise of telemedicine and real time collaboration with the top medical research institutions in the country," said Peter Kohler, M.D., President of Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). "Both health care and education are being transformed and extended by networking, much as these technologies are reshaping the landscape of business. Complimentary OHSU initiatives are underway to create high-speed linkages among Portland area educational institutions such as Portland State University and Oregon Graduate Institute, and to enhance the connectivity to UO and the statewide network. The direct connection to Internet2 afforded by WCI Cable linking Portland to the Pacific/Northwest GigaPoP in Seattle provides Portland students and faculty with direct access to the technologies that will shape the region's future."

"Portland State University is extremely excited to have the opportunity to participate and collaborate in the development of the next generation Internet in the Pacific Northwest" said Bruce Taggart, Ph.D., Executive Director, Office of Information Technologies at Portland State University. "By having enhanced access and high-speed connectivity to Internet2 in Portland via the Pacific Northwest GigaPoP we will be able to provide our faculty, researchers, and students with access to high bandwidth applications not previously available to them such as remote research instrumentation, IP video communications, and terabyte data mining of national research databases. Having high-speed access to a full Internet2 hub and related technologies will allow the university to experiment with new methods for instructional delivery, explore new research opportunities, and allow our entire university community to develop collaborative relationships with other universities regionally, nationally, and internationally."

"WCI Cable's remarkable commitment has provided completely new connections among Internet2 universities." said Douglas Van Houweling, President and CEO of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), which is leading the Internet2 project. "Partnerships such as these accelerate the accessibility to the advanced networking applications and technologies that will transform higher education and benefit the entire global Internet community."

Last month, in a related effort, WCI Cable and the Pacific Northwest GigaPoP announced provision of a similar OC-12 between Seattle and Fairbanks, Alaska. Together with today's Portland-Seattle announcement that creates one of the two or three most powerful high-speed wide area next generation Internet technology testbeds in the world.

"This collaboration with the Pacific Northwest GigaPoP places the University of Alaska on the cutting edge in the development of the next generation Internet and enhances our collective regional efforts to develop the Internet2 for research and education. Now, the University of Alaska is among the top ten universities in the country when it comes to connectivity, and that has vast implications for our research capability," said University of Alaska President Mark R. Hamilton.

"This initiative adds to WCIC's network expansion plans along the west coast of North America, including Canada and Latin America," said Patrick Estenes, VP Marketing and Sales for WCIC. "It also facilitates high bandwidth connectivity to Asia, further focusing the gateway leadership of the Northwest to the rest of the world."

Internet2 is a collaborative effort led by over 150 U.S. research universities working in partnership with industry leaders and federal agencies to develop a new family of advanced network applications and technologies to meet emerging academic requirements in research, teaching, and learning. Internet2, a project of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), is addressing this challenge by creating a leading edge network capability, enabling a new generation of applications, and working with industry and international partners to transfer new technologies into the global Internet.

WCI Cable, Inc. is a privately held USA corporation whose principal shareholders are a subsidiary of AMP Life Limited (an international financial services company with assets exceeding US$120 billion, ( and two privately owned Australian investment companies. WCI Cable was formed in 1997 to manage and construct terrestrial and submarine fiber optic systems, to build the NorthStar Network which connects Alaska with the Continental United States, and to undertake new network projects around the world.

The Pacific Northwest GigaPoP was one of the initial group of pioneering gigaPoPs attached to the Internet2 backbone last fall. It hosts the high speed Internet2 network node for the Northwest, is a key point of presence for the other major research and education as well as commodity internet networks, and provides unparalleled local and regional high performance peering facilities. The Pacific Northwest GigaPoP is a multi-state consortium of research and education institutions across Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana and includes the institutions and individuals that played key roles in the creation and evolution of the NSFnet and the region's existing Internet capabilities.


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For further information:

WCI Cable, Inc.
Heather Sirr

Greg Wood

Pacific/Northwest GigaPoP
Ron Johnson

Oregon Graduate Institute
Andrew Black

Portland State University
Bruce M. Taggart, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Office of Information Technologies

University of Alaska
Steve Smith