Miami University has received 6 fiber optic strands as a gift from alumnus Robert C. Schuler, of Dublin, Ohio. The strands of fiber are part of the Loop connecting Oxford, Hamilton, Middletown and Evendale. The estimated value of the gift is more than $1 million. Miami leases 12 fiber optic strands of the Loop from the county, which are used for network communications among the university's Ohio campuses.
The Loop has 96 strands and traverses 100 miles. It was developed by county commissioners to attract new high-tech businesses, and to serve government offices and schools as well as existing businesses. Miami expects to begin testing and deploying the new strands this year. Access to residents will be available in the near future.
If the fiber is broken in any one place, the loop becomes a line, but it continues to work because data can flow in either direction, explains Reid Christenberry, Vice President of Information Technology Services at Miami. The completion of the loop brought faster connections among Miami’s regional campuses in summer 2002.
The six new strands will provide vastly improved connectivity to OARnet, the university’s Internet service provider, adds Christenberry. They will connect Miami to the Third Frontier Network, to promote education, research and technology jobs in Ohio. They will be an important compliment to the "Cluster Ohio" supercomputer installed at Miami last year providing university researchers with a high-speed data connection to the supercomputer in Columbus. They will also be used to connect fiber optics in Hamilton County to OARnet.