University of Idaho expands broadband access for Agricultural Research Sites

The Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON) and University of Idaho announce a partnership to expand the state’s broadband access and collaboration within the state, across the nation, and globally.

Moscow, ID, June 14, 2013 – University of Idaho increases its broadband communications infrastructure for enhanced education and research opportunities to serve U of I’s Agriculture Research sites in Hagerman, Kimberly, Twin Falls, Caldwell and Parma. Access to IRON’s ultra-high-speed, fiber optic network will expand U of I’s effectiveness in creating opportunities for the school’s students, faculty, administrators, and research staff, and will also enhance Idaho’s collective ability to advance science, research, education, health care, and economic development across the entire State. Working with local, digital wireless and wire-line providers, the University and IRON have established broadband access and connectivity at speeds up to 100 Megabits/second from these very remote research sites which previously had to rely on internet access over low-speed, copper or satellite connections.

“U of I very much appreciates our service from the Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON). The ability to interconnect with IRON’s and the nation’s high-speed broadband research networks will substantially enhance our ability to support our researchers throughout the state. IRON has worked closely on a full partnership basis and helped foster collaboration with these important research sites where broadband access has been either too costly to acquire or is basically unavailable”, said U of I Chief Information Officer, Dan Ewart.

Chartered in late 2007, “IRON” (www.ironforidaho.net) is a cooperative effort between five universities located in the Northwest region of the United States, the State of Idaho, the Idaho Hospital Association, and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), to establish a high-performance Regional Optical Network (RON) within the State of Idaho. IRON is owned, operated and managed by its Charter Associates. Today, only five years after its inception, IRON provides low-cost, high-speed bandwidth to more than 175,000 students, teachers, researchers, and health care professionals across the state of Idaho.

Organizations eligible to participate in the Idaho Regional Optical Network, Inc. (IRON), a not-for-profit Idaho corporation, include those engaged in research, public and private education, health care, and economic development; as well as libraries, museums, and local, state, and federal government agencies. IRON, like 40 similar organizations operating in other states across the country, provides access and connectivity, at speeds of up to 10 billion characters per second, to both of the nation’s advanced research and education broadband networks, Internet2 (www.internet2.org), and the National Lambda Rail (www.nlr.net).

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Guryan named Distance Education Coordinator

IRON is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Guryan to the newly created position of Distance Education Coordinator.

Michael will directly support the objectives of the J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, through a $3.06 million grant awarded to IRON in May of 2012. The J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, and IRON, are committed to attracting new educators to Idaho, retaining students in Idaho, providing the basis for a well‐educated workforce for the state, and creating a better overall environment for students, teachers and administrators throughout the state.

Michael will work with IRON’s community of higher education, students, teachers, researchers, and Community Anchor Institutions (CAI’s) to meet the goals of the grant ‘to enhance our ability to provide a highly‐reliable, cost‐effective system for housing, accessing, and delivering Distance Learning content to and from all interested education entities throughout the state and the region.’

According to Stacey Carson, President of IRON, “Michael’s significant experience in IT management, most recently in revamping the Idaho State Network (ISN), will give our Associates new and expanded capabilities as we build services on the maturing Idaho Regional Optical Network “.

Prior to joining IRON, Mr. Guryan was the Enterprise IT Infrastructure Manager for the State of Idaho.

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North Idaho College expands broadband access for Idaho Panhandle!

The Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON) and North Idaho College (NIC) announce a partnership to expand the region’s broadband access and collaboration within the state, across the nation, and globally.

Coeur d’Alene, ID, October 18, 2012 – North Idaho College (NIC) increases its broadband communications infrastructure for enhanced education and research opportunities to serve NIC’s campus, the city of Coeur d’Alene, and the Coeur d’Alene campuses of the University of Idaho and LewisClark State College. Access to IRON’s ultra high-speed, fiber optic network will expand NIC’s effectiveness in creating opportunities for the school’s students, faculty, administrators, and research staff, and will also enhance Idaho’s collective ability to advance science, research, education, health care, and economic development across the entire State.

“North Idaho College very much appreciates the service from the Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON). The ability to interconnect with Idaho Education Network secondary schools to provide more seamless dual enrollment classes over video conferencing will benefit students. IRON has worked closely on a full partnership basis and helped foster inter-institution collaboration in Coeur d’Alene for North Idaho College, the University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College,” said NIC Chief Information Officer, Steve Ruppel.

Chartered in late 2007, “IRON” (www.ironforidaho.net) is a cooperative effort between five universities located in the Northwest region of the United States, the State of Idaho, the Idaho Hospital Association, and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), to establish a high-performance Regional Optical Network (RON) within the State of Idaho. IRON is owned, operated and managed by its Charter Associates. Today, only three years after its inception, IRON provides low-cost, high-speed bandwidth to more than 175,000 students, teachers, researchers, and health care professionals across the state of Idaho.

Organizations eligible to participate in the Idaho Regional Optical Network, Inc. (IRON), a not-for-profit Idaho corporation, include those engaged in research, public and private education, health care, and economic development; as well as libraries, museums, and local, state, and federal government agencies. IRON, like 40 similar organizations operating in other states across the country, provides access and connectivity, at speeds of up to 10 billion characters per second, to both of the nation’s advanced research and education broadband networks, Internet2 (www.internet2.org), and the National Lambda Rail (www.nlr.net).

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IRON Awarded J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation Grant

Boise, ID, May 21, 2012 ‐ The Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON) today announced that the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation has awarded IRON a $3,055,694 grant over the next five years to support distance learning activities and enhanced broadband access for colleges, universities and education research sites throughout Idaho.

IRON’s statewide broadband network is currently accessible to the state’s colleges, universities, research facilities, and libraries and to the Idaho Education Network at access points located in Boise, Idaho Falls, Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston, and St Anthony. The grant will be used to expand and accelerate deployment of IRON’s broadband transmission system and distance learning infrastructure, and to extend access to the network into Pocatello, Twin Falls and surrounding communities.

“This grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation will allow us to push our services out into Idaho’s rural communities much sooner than we anticipated,” says Victor Braud, IRON general manager.  “By adding Pocatello and Twin Falls to IRON’s network this year, these communities will begin to realize IRON’s benefits more quickly and they will find it easier and substantially less expensive to connect.  The grant will also allow IRON to add a higher level of reliability to the network for all of our Associates.”

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Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) and Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) are teaming with Idaho National Laboratory and the other Charter Associates of the Idaho Regional Optical Network to build an “IRONclad” bridge across Idaho’s digital divide.

Idaho National Laboratory (INL), with the full support of Battelle Energy Alliance, recently installed one of the world’s fastest super-computers in their state-of-the-art, high performance computing center at the Idaho National Laboratory’s advanced energy research facility in Idaho Falls. INL is making that facility accessible to Higher Ed Researchers throughout Idaho and the Northwest through the Idaho Computing Consortium. The backbone of the lab’s computing collaborations is the Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON). Its high-speed connections allow researchers at the Lab and the region’s Research Universities to quickly access needed computational resources located in other areas throughout the state, the region, and the nation.

BMI continues to provide financial support of IRON providing an economical safety net through a nointerest line of credit loan, BMI is helping to ensure IRON’s long-term sustainability, and that IRON’s longterm objective of providing very low cost, very high speed bandwidth to Idaho’s Research, Higher Education, Health Care, and government institutions is fully realized. This level of financial support has made possible expansion of the network throughout the state and the region to provide ultra-high-speed, broadband access to, and from, additional research sites.

Brent Stacey, INL’s chief information officer, is one of the chief architects behind IRON. He envisions BEA’s support with in-kind resources, INL’s active participation in the management and operation of IRON, and BMI’s financial investments as ways to enhance economic opportunities and technological advances across the state. “Our ability to provide access to high-performance computing, specialized facilities and high-quality bandwidth is good for the state, students, researchers, institutions, and employers like INL.”

INL (www.inl.gov), a Charter Associate and one of the principle users of IRON’s state-of-the-art fiber optic network, was instrumental in providing guidance and direction to the state of Idaho through programs such as IRON.

Battelle Memorial Institute (www.battelle.org) is a 501(c) (3) charitable trust headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Our 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide are dedicated to scientific, educational, technology and community endeavors and investments for a safer, healthier, and more productive tomorrow. We’re committed to using science and technology as a positive force for change, delivering innovations that enhance people’s lives while helping solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. Through contract R&D, managing the world’s leading national laboratories, and giving back to communities, Battelle seeks to create greater value for its customers, the nation, and the world. IRON (www.ironforidaho.net) is a nonprofit organization that was chartered in 2007 to advance science, research, education, health care and state and local government in Idaho through access to very highspeed, cost-effective bandwidth.

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