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Link Oregon lights its innovative, middle-mile fiber broadband network supporting Oregon’s public and non-profit sectors

Link Oregon Broadband Network

Deploys Fujitsu and Arista technologies within statewide system to help bridge the digital divide 

PORTLAND, ORE. June 7, 2021 — Link Oregon, the non-profit, middle-mile broadband network serving Oregon’s public and non-profit sectors, announces the completion of the first two phases of its statewide network backbone, having successfully lit nearly 2,000 route-miles of fiber-optic cable and deployed more than 50 service locations across Oregon. 

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the negative impacts of the digital divide and magnified the connectivity needs of many Oregonians. Link Oregon — a consortium of Oregon’s four largest research universities and the State of Oregon’s Enterprise Information Services (EIS) — responded to the connectivity crisis with an accelerated buildout of its network backbone. 

Leveraging $8.39 million in CARES Act funding allocated by the Oregon Legislature Emergency Board through Business Oregon, Link Oregon expedited deployment of network assets to extend connectivity to the state’s public and non-profit sectors that serve the rural communities in southern and eastern Oregon—beating the grant’s extended June 2021 deadline.  To meet this aggressive timeline, Link Oregon augmented its network engineering and project management team with expert staff generously loaned by several founding members.

“Link Oregon effectively leveraged pandemic-related funding and significant partner support — from the research universities, K-12 and municipal partners, private industry, and the State — to deploy this critical statewide network resource in a timely manner, ensuring greater connectivity for Oregon’s public and non-profit sectors and the communities they serve,” noted Terrence Woods, State CIO and chair of the Link Oregon Board of Directors. 

In addition to the support of its founding partners, Link Oregon collaborated with a diverse community of engaged stakeholders — including optical network hardware, software, and professional services provider Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. and switching and routing platform provider Arista Networks —drawing on their expertise and experience to achieve this important milestone in under a year. 

“Fujitsu congratulates Link Oregon for transforming its network to enable higher bandwidth and extended connectivity for its members,” said Annie Bogue, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “By selecting the 1FINITY open optical platform and Virtuora Network Controller, Link Oregon has a flexible, programmable, and automated network that will support continuous innovation for years to come.”

“Congratulations on Link Oregon’s achievement of this milestone in the development of its high-speed fiber broadband network,” said Mark Foss, senior vice president, global operations and marketing at Arista Networks. “Arista is proud to be a part of ensuring equitable internet access and bridging the education, healthcare, and economic gaps that were exacerbated by the pandemic.” 

In addition to serving the broadband networking needs of the five founding organizations, Link Oregon also supports many of Oregon’s public K-12 school districts and education service districts and a growing number of key Oregon research initiatives. The latter includes the renowned Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University’s coastal research campus in Newport, and the Oregon Hazards Lab (OHAZ) at the University of Oregon, which implements two hazard detection and notification projects, ShakeAlert and ALERTWildfire, for Oregon. Link Oregon also supports public and non-profit healthcare providers, libraries, Tribal facilities, and state and local government offices statewide. 

Current and anticipated federal and state broadband investments show promise for expanding last-mile connectivity options that integrate with a robust middle-mile solution. Regional Internet exchange services also play an important role in augmenting data throughput capacity—particularly for rural, remote communities. Member-based Link Oregon is actively planning the next phase of expansion for its middle-mile network that will connect other key locations and communities along the Oregon coast and into eastern Oregon.

“We are very proud of the progress we have made toward delivering a robust digital infrastructure for Oregon’s public and non-profit sectors,” said Steve Corbató, executive director of Link Oregon. “Many collaborative partnerships have made this possible — with our members, multiple Federal and State agencies, commercial telecoms and technology providers, local municipalities, and leaders in urban and rural communities across the state. Our team is looking forward to further extending the network and enhancing services to our members.”

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About Link Oregon

Link Oregon is an Oregon non-profit organization, a consortium of the State of Oregon through its Enterprise Information Services and the state’s four largest research universities — Oregon State University, OHSU, Portland State University, and the University of Oregon. Link Oregon provides high-speed, resilient, middle-mile fiber broadband connectivity to Oregon’s public and non-profit sectors. It also facilitates other collaborative information technology projects among its membership. Learn more at www.linkoregon.org.

About Fujitsu Network Communications Inc.

Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. is a leading provider of digital transformation solutions for network operators, service providers and content providers worldwide. We combine best-in-class hardware, software and services with multivendor expertise to enable cost savings, faster services delivery and improved network performance. Working closely with our customers and ecosystem partners, we design, build, operate and maintain better networks for the connected world. All rights reserved. For more information, please see http://us.fujitsu.com/telecom or connect with us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/Fujitsu-network-communications. 1FINITY™ and Virtuora® are trademarks of Fujitsu Limited in the United States and other countries.

About Arista Networks

Arista Networks is an industry leader in cognitive cloud networking solutions for large data center and campus environments. Arista’s award-winning platforms deliver availability, agility, automation analytics, and security through CloudVision® and Arista EOS®, an advanced network operating system. For more information, visit www.arista.com.

ShakeAlert® is a registered trademark of USGS. 

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