OSHEAN partners with Cox Business on Rhode Island fiber network

OSHEAN will lay throughout Rhode Island an advanced, high-capacity broadband network intended to reach nearly every city and town in the state (except New Shoreham) and support robust growth in the state’s emerging knowledge economy, particularly with regard to non-profit anchor institutions.

OSHEAN will lay throughout Rhode Island an advanced, high-capacity broadband network intended to reach nearly every city and town in the state (except New Shoreham) and support robust growth in the state’s emerging knowledge economy, particularly with regard to non-profit anchor institutions.

In Rhode Island, Cox Business (a division of Cox Communications) will provide OSHEAN with the 48-strand fiber network throughout the state. The new cyber-infrastructure, called Beacon 2.0, will provide a fiber backbone that passes through 38 of the 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island. To that backbone, OSHEAN will connect a range of hospitals, colleges, universities, community colleges, government agencies, schools, and libraries.

Funded by a $21.7 million federal stimulus Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant and an additional $10 million in private funds, the 350-mile dedicated fiber-optic network will provide increased broadband capacity at lower costs to non-profit anchor institutions in Rhode Island, such as hospitals, schools, and libraries.

Installation of the network will begin in May of 2011 with project completion scheduled for spring of 2013.

“In just two short years, we will have built a robust network infrastructure that will benefit our member institutions and the citizens and communities they serve,” says George Loftus, OSHEAN president and CEO. “Teaming up with Cox to get this job done builds on our already strong working relationship. Thanks to Cox’s expertise and efficiency, we will be able to connect to 100 sites across the state--double the number we had initially proposed.”

The agreement between Cox and OSHEAN includes an initial 20-year contract that can be extended for up to 40 years. Cox will not only install the new cable, but also be responsible for physical maintenance and upgrades of the cable.

“Over the past decade, Cox Communications has built an advanced, full-service network throughout Rhode Island, making this one of the most broadband-ready states in the nation,” says Mark Scott, vice president of Cox Business. “Through this collaboration, OSHEAN members and anchor institutions can leverage this new, dedicated network and Cox’s existing state-of-the-art broadband infrastructure to develop and market a wide range of exciting new applications in the fields of medicine, education, and government.”

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