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” ( 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 (, and the National Lambda Rail (

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