CORVALLIS, Ore. — The Oregon Fiber Partnership, a collaborative effort of Oregon State University, the state’s major public research universities and state government, has taken a key step to develop a statewide, high-speed optical network.

The partnership has purchased more than 1,500 miles of optical fiber lines from global communications provider CenturyLink to support the network. The network will serve the state’s universities engaged in research, education, health care and community services along with government sectors by providing broadband connectivity that is faster, more secure, more resilient to natural or human-caused disasters and ultimately less expensive because of the project’s large scale and shared network facilities.

“With this network, Oregon’s public universities will have the performance and statewide footprint needed to be able to fully engage in data intensive fields such as genomics, autonomous vehicles and precision agriculture,” said Jon Dolan, interim vice provost, University Information and Technology at Oregon State University.

The partnership brings together the Office of the State Chief Information Officer, Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, Oregon Health & Science University and Portland State University

“This is a unique collaboration between Oregon research universities and state government to develop a truly statewide shared backbone network,” said Steve Corbató, executive director of the Oregon Fiber Partnership and director of research computing at Oregon Health & Science University. “Faster, more capable networks like this are essential for our universities to stay at the forefront of research and innovation today while their broad reach is critical to fulfill the distinct statewide service, education, and public policy missions of our partners.”

The Oregon Fiber Partnership is working closely with NERO, the Network for Education and Research in Oregon, the existing statewide network based at the University of Oregon. The new network will enhance the services currently being provided by NERO to higher education institutions, school districts, local and state government agencies and non-profit groups.  In addition, much of the traffic for the respective statewide backbone networks of Oregon state government, Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University in time will migrate to this new network platform.

The Oregon Fiber Partnership, working through Oregon State University, purchased the optical fiber lines from CenturyLink. The next project step will activate the fiber network beginning in the summer of 2019.

“We’re excited to work with the Oregon Fiber Partnership and Oregon State University to provide the fast, secure and resilient network backbone that will support advanced research projects that benefit Oregonians,” said Craig Cupach, CenturyLink director of research and education sales.    

The statewide network will follow three north-south paths (the coast, Interstate 5 and U.S Route 97 in central Oregon) and two primarily east-west paths (Interstate 84 in the north and a more central route connecting Newport, Bend, Burns, and Ontario.)

About Oregon State University: As one of only two universities in the nation designated as a land, sea, space and sun grant, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 31,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis, Bend and Newport, and through our award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

About CenturyLink: CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is the second largest U.S. communications provider to global enterprise customers. With customers in more than 60 countries and an intense focus on the customer experience, CenturyLink strives to be the world’s best networking company by solving customers’ increased demand for reliable and secure connections. The company also serves as its customers’ trusted partner, helping them manage increased network and IT complexity and providing managed network and cyber security solutions that help protect their business.

Story By: 

Sean Nealon, [email protected], 541-737-0787


Jon Dolan, [email protected], 541-713-3440; Steve Corbató, 503-346-3575, [email protected]; Linda M. Johnson, [email protected], 202-429-3130

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