Networking & Wireless

Orange County Completes 100 Gbps Network Connection

The Orange County Department of Education has established a 100 gigabit-per-second dark fiber network connection, which will provide its 27 school districts with high speed Internet connectivity to support digital learning initiatives.

Orange County ED partnered with CENIC, the California K-12 High Speed Network and the California Department of Education to establish the network, which will serve more than half a million students and more than 20,000 teachers.

Terry Walker, superintendent of schools for Irvine Unified School District, one of the 27 school districts to benefit from this new connection, described the network upgrade as "the equivalent of adding 20 lanes to the 5 Freeway," one of the busiest freeways in southern California.

"The ability to have a 100Gb connection will provide the Irvine Unified School District with the limitless ability to dramatically transform how students learn by leveraging technology and internet bandwidth in a way that has never been possible for K-12 schools, until now," said Walker in a prepared statement.

The network upgrade took advantage of the FCC's Second E-Rate Modernization Order, "which equalizes the treatment of lit and dark fiber," according to the news release. The infrastructure can support future bandwidth increases with the addition of "relatively inexpensive optical components to the existing equipment."

CENIC is in the process of upgrading several other California K-12 sites to 100 Gbps dark fiber connections, including Riverside and San Diego, which should be complete within the next few months. "An additional ten 100Gb connections for K-12 sites are included in CENIC's consortial E-Rate filing and planned for production after July 1, 2016, coinciding with the current FCC E-Rate cycle," according to information from the non-profit organization.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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