Video: A Look Back at 35 Years of OARnet

As we celebrate 35 years of connecting, aggregating and collaborating, we invite you to hear from just a few of our partners and friends about OARnet's history and impact. We are proud to work with and support Ohio's higher education, K-12 education, state government, local governments, research, health care, public broadcasting and NG911 communities. At the same time, we are thankful for their partnership and support of our efforts. We look forward to many more years of innovation as a result to Ohio's unique collaborative spirit.

The video below debuted as part of OARnet's 35th Anniversary celebration at The Quilt's annual meetings in Columbus on Sept. 26, 2023, where OARnet also hosted its Fall Member Meeting.


John Ellinger:

In 1987, when OARnet was launched, I was working at Ohio State. OARnet was then and is still the ultimate shared service. OARnet provided Ohio's academic institutions access to the Ohio Supercomputer Center's high performance computing resources from anywhere in the state. OARnet allowed us to develop collaboration not only between ourselves, but also with other national and international institutions.

Jen Leasure:

As a founding member of the Quilt in 2000, OARnet helped create a national coalition of research and education networks that develop and deploy and manage advanced cyberinfrastructure and services that benefit communities across the United States.

Javed Khan:

By acquiring dark fiber all the way back in 2004, OARnet began creating the highly scalable fiber-optic infrastructure that could accommodate the ever rising demand from college and university sectors for statewide connectivity and increased bandwidth.

Geoffrey Andrews:

In 2004, Ohio led the nation in creating a high-speed fiber-optic backbone that could serve pre K-12 education as well as higher education. The Management Council worked with OARnet and other state entities to connect the backbone to the information technology centers that serve Ohio school districts, reducing IT costs and improving service across the state.

David Williams:

By expanding the network backbone capacity to 100 gigs back in 2012, OARnet made the state of Ohio more competitive in research, in education and technology, and in the industry sector. For those of us in the academy, that expansion also helped in attracting more faculty who earned more federal research grants here at Ohio State.

Katrina Flory:

Ohio's One Network, a partnership with OARnet, since 2014 has provided tremendous value to the state of Ohio. OARnet's Strong understanding of the broadband needs of both the state and the research and education communities, as well as assistance with aggregate purchases of band with another important services, has helped advance many initiatives beneficial to Ohio.

Randy Gardner:

When the world shut down, OARnet was prepared. The research and education demands on the network meant that ample bandwidth was already in place as life moved online due to COVID-19. When Govenor DeWine, BroadbandOhio, InnovateOhio and others came calling, OARnet was ready to assist.

Howard Pfeffer:

OARnet was one of only five networks in the country to establish 400 gigabit per second connection to Internet2 in 2022, as part of the first wave, the Next Generation Infrastructure project. The upgrade supports the growth of research and cloud computing in higher education and allows for swifter adoption of new technology innovations.

Cindy Leavitt:

OARnet started in higher education, but today it's network encompasses community anchor institutions and K-through-12 education, state and local government, health care, public broadcasting and research. And the result is a phenomenal power of aggregation. As robust access to cloud resources becomes more important than ever. The value of OARnet extends to every institution it serves, and that includes Ohio State.

Jon Husted:

OARnet has indeed changed the face of the state of Ohio, serving as a key component of our broadband infrastructure and access efforts. The team has done an excellent job of working closely with InnovateOhio and BroadbandOhio to determine how OARnet's expertise and resources and partnerships can help the state bridge the digital divide for all Ohioans.

Peter Voderberg:

OARnet's 400 gigabit expansion is essential to our efforts to increase availability, affordability and adoption in the state of Ohio while we expand our middle-mile networks. BroadbandOhio and OARnet's partnership has been a keystone of our broadband strategy since the beginning.

Pankaj Shah:

As you just heard from our national and state leaders and partners, OARnet, over last 35 years, has exponentially grown and become a crucial element within our state's broadband and networking ecosystem. Ultimately, it's not about routers, switches, points of presence of 5,500 miles of fibers. It's about the people of Ohio. Our team strives every day to make sure that the information and connectivity is available to them when they need it. We will continue to work to expand and improve that access and dependability for the next 35 years and beyond.