Ohio Schools Become Founding Members of State's Third Frontier Network

Jul 14, 2003

Ohio Lights the Way

Columbus, Ohio (July 14, 2003) - The Ohio SchoolNet Commission and the Ohio Department of Education have joined the Third Frontier Network as founding members of the nation’s most advanced statewide fiber optic service for education and research.

The Third Frontier Network will link the state’s colleges and universities, community colleges, branch campuses, K-12 Regional Service Agencies and eventually district locations to each other and the Internet.

“We are pleased to represent Ohio’s K-12 schools as equitable partners in the Third Frontier Network,” said Ohio SchoolNet Executive Director H. Samuel Orth, III. “Ohio SchoolNet is committed to this project, which will enable us to ensure that Ohio’s K-12 school districts’ current and future connectivity needs are met.”

"Too often, students don't connect with science because they are asked to learn by rote," said Roderick G.W. Chu, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. "The TFN will connect classrooms to scientists in research labs trying to solve real-world problems. Students will see the development of samples, watch the experiment unfold, and share in the excitement of the results."

This equitable partnership will ensure uniform, consistent and cost-effective access to data, video and Internet applications by all users, including teachers, students and administrators in the State of Ohio.

"Ohio’s future economic success will be based on its ability to compete in the technology economy,” said Denis Walsh, Third Frontier Network Project Manager. “To ensure the state’s success, the Third Frontier Network will build an education and research foundation that enables our students and researchers to lead the future development of high tech industries and jobs in Ohio.”

The Third Frontier Network is a key infrastructure component of Ohio’s multi-billion dollar Third Frontier Project and is a major component of Ohio Governor Bob Taft’s Broadband Initiative.
Over the next five years, the Third Frontier Network backbone will be built in four phases that include the following segments:

  • Phase 1: Establish a statewide core backbone to major cities
  • Phase 2: Connect Ohio’s research universities as well as the K-12 community
  • Phase 3: Connect Ohio’s medium and smaller universities and colleges
  • Phase 4: Connect Ohio’s corporate research centers with the academic research community

The organizations currently involved with the Third Frontier Network include Ohio SchoolNet, the Ohio Supercomputer Center, the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Board of Regents, American Electric Power, WilTel Communications and American Fiber Systems.

About SchoolNet
Created in 1994, Ohio SchoolNet was charged with establishing access to data, voice and video networks for every public school classroom in the state. Ohio SchoolNet now administers more than 30 educational technology programs for public schools across Ohio. For more information about the Ohio SchoolNet Commission, visit http://www.osn.state.oh.us.

About Third Frontier Network
The Third Frontier Network (previously known as the Ohio Dark Fiber Initiative) is being created to provide advanced networking services to support higher education and research in the State of Ohio. This project’s goal is to create a premier network that will enhance research, education and economic development and help expand Ohio’s role and reputation in networking technology. For additional information about the Third Frontier Network, visit http://www.tfn.oar.net.

Carly Glick
The Ohio SchoolNet Commission
Tel: (614) 728-1886
Email: glick@osn.state.oh.us