Speedy Circuit-Building Effort Supports COVID-19 Fight

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Jun 2, 2020) — 

Following the health emergency declaration, the State of Ohio urgently needed an IT network connection between the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) offices in downtown Columbus and its ODH Receipt, Stage, and Store (RSS) warehouse.

The RSS is designed to supplement and re-supply state and local resources during large-scale public health and medical emergencies. The RSS warehouse represented a critical component in the supply chain to provision hospitals, clinics and labs with personal protective equipment (PPE), such as respirators, gloves, masks and eye protectionkey elements in the fight against COVID-19. 

On Monday, March 16, Henry Smith, a data systems administrator in the Infrastructure Services Division of the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Department of Administrative Services (DAS), contacted OARnet and requested a completion date of March 31, a target about two weeks away. However, due to the urgent need for this connection, he revised the request and asked for OARnet and AT&T to see if they could complete the connection sooner. In response, AT&T completed their last-mile connection between the warehouse and the OARnet backbone on Sunday, March 22. OARnet provisioned the circuit at a data center on Monday, March 23, and OIT finalized their activation work on Tuesday morning, March 24.

"The RSS warehouse is up and running. I appreciate everyone's hard work to get this up and running in four days versus the original time frame of 90 days," said Smith. "This was truly an amazing effort by all."

"This project was a shining example of what we can accomplish together-multiple state agencies working as one with our private partners to complete something that was nothing short of amazing in record time," said Nathan Huskey, chief information officer with ODH. "I appreciate all of the work that both our partners did to make this happen so quickly and professionally."

"These are extraordinary times, and this splendid accomplishment was achieved through the extraordinary dedication and teamwork of numerous individuals and an invaluable public-private partnership," said Pankaj Shah, executive director of OARnet.