The Optical Regional Advanced Network of Ontario (ORANO) has put forth an RFP for the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), a new research and advanced education network. ORANO is seeking other partners as it proceeds to implement its long-term program.
ORANO has received financial support from the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology through Ontario's SuperBuild Corp. to implement the network initiative. Additional assistance has been pledged from CANARIE to establish the network infrastructure.
ORION will be a 3,200-km province-wide, fiber-optic network linking Ontario's 44 post-secondary institutions and 50 or more additional publicly funded research institutions/organizations to network connection points in 21 communities throughout Ontario. The network will provide bandwidth capacity to all of the organizations at a level comparable to the most advanced research networks in the world, claim company representatives. Through public-private partnerships, ORION will stimulate and support innovative collaborative research and education projects across the network. It will also provide an opportunity for all partners to develop, test, and implement a range of new applications and technologies. A critical goal is to keep Ontario at the forefront of the expanding digital economy.
The ORION initiative consists of two components: the backbone network linking the 21 communities, and connectivity of organizations to the network point of presence (PoP) in their region. This RFP addresses the network backbone to connect the 21 community points of presence. The second component, addressing local connectivity, is the subject of a separate statement of work that has been sent to each of the eligible organizations in communities around the 21 PoPs. They will be undertaking independent competitive processes to address connectivity to the ORION PoP.
The network backbone is based on obtaining access to fiber-optic cable as a long-term strategic asset, through 20-year Indefeasible Rights of Use (IRUs). The network plan calls for obtaining 4 individual strands of fiber for the backbone to connect each of the 21 PoPs. To maximize the capability of the backbone to provide for advanced research capabilities, the network design includes DWDM transmission capabilities across the fiber, with advanced network routing capabilities based on Internet Protocol (IP).
The RFP is intended to solicit innovative partnership proposals from proponents/consortia of proponents to work with ORANO to obtain access to
Fiber-optic cable for the network backbone linking the 21 PoPs. Proponents will be expected to make a significant contribution to the project, either "in-kind" or through other forms of contribution. In kind may be based on a calculation of significant, documented discounts below established "market prices" or a pro-rated calculation based on the cost of the build, at established market values, with ORANO as one of the partners contributing to the overall cost.
Proponents interested in responding to the RFP are expected to attend an information meeting with ORANO representatives scheduled to take place on Wednesday, January 30, at 1:00 PM (location to be determined). No more than two representatives should attend. Please notify ORANOadmin@ORANO.on.ca of your intention to attend by January 25, 2002. Those responding will be notified of the information meeting location.
Proponents may submit their responses via electronic mail or printed copy by February 18, 2002 at 4:00 PM EDT. Electronic mail copies can be forwarded
to: ORANOadmin@ORANO.on.ca and printed copies can be delivered to 25 Medhurst Road, Toronto, M4B 1B2.
For more detailed information, visit the company's Web site at www.canet3.net/news/news.html.