Networking Initiatives

OARnet is more than just a statewide network with massive bandwidth. OARnet, sometimes autonomously and often in partnership with other local, state and federal organizations, actively participates in network-related initiatives that serve to aid and educate. This is accomplished through programs to expand broadband access, enhance community development, advance networking technologies, promote cross-cultural education and improve healthcare.

Connecting Ohio to CEMAS’ Electron Microscopes 

Thanks to OARnet’s fiber-optic, 10-gigabit-per-second (Gbps) connection from the labs at The Ohio State University Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS) to the network’s ultra-fast, 100-Gbps statewide backbone, any organization connected to OARnet’s network can purchase time and directly operate CEMAS’ instruments from a remote location with no perceptible delay.

Last Mile Enhancement Program 

OARnet is spearheading a $12.1 million Last Mile Enhancement Program to increase broadband speeds by 1,000% at 40 Ohio colleges and universities. Supported by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, the program enables OARnet to work with commercial “last mile” providers to upgrade connections to the OARnet backbone from one Gigabit per second (Gbps) or less to 10 Gbps.

Next Generation 911

Next Generation 911 (NG 911) takes emergency response operations from analog to digital, providing faster, more reliable services when communities need it most. OARnet’s role in the NG 911 service is transport and statewide infrastructure design to ensure the necessary redundancy and geodiversity for these critical emergency communications.

Partnership with Kent State University 

Kent State University (Kent State) and OARnet successfully partnered on a $383,734 grant submission to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (NSF Award #1925678) to design a ScienceDMZ. The teams at Kent State and OARnet worked to construct this virtual DMZ perimeter over a highly responsive regional WAN, which allows researchers at Kent State’s regional campuses in Ohio to uniformly access this cyberinfrastructure. The ScienceDMZ provides connections to OARnet’s optical exchange, enabling 100 Gbps of uninterrupted transfer rate capacity and allowing data-centric researchers across the disciplines to dramatically speed up access to and from their data-silos and supercomputing centers. 


Speedtest, a product offered by Ookla, offers advanced performance monitoring and measuring of Internet connections around the world. OARnet is currently offering this service via connection to servers in Columbus. Additional servers in Dayton, Cleveland, and Akron are expected to be deployed in 2021. 


OARnet’s comprehensive weathermaps allow authorized users and clients to view live data, such as usage and maintenance, of the OARnet network. Link data is pulled from Statseeker and self-updates every 30 seconds. 

Weathermaps give users the ability to view network traffic graphs for the entirety of the OARnet backbone, or just a particular section of it. Complete instructions for login and use of this tool can be found on the Monitoring Tool’s page.