Path-Breaking 100Gb Connection between Orange County Department of Education and CENIC Networks

BERKELEY, Calif. & LA MIRADA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CENIC is pleased to announce that CENIC, with its partners—the Orange
County Department of Education (OCDE), the K-12 High Speed Network
(K12HSN), and the California Department of Education (CDE)—has
established the world’s first 100-Gigabit per second K-12 connection.
The network connection went into production on March 24th,

“Here in Orange County, we have highly innovative educators who are
continually looking to leverage new educational technologies that engage
students and enhance instruction in reading, writing, math, and other
core subjects. This latest upgrade to our infrastructure creates faster
and far more robust internet connections than ever before, enabling the
expanded use of rich educational content,” said Orange County
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares. “Our new 100-Gigabit ethernet
connection will directly benefit more than half a million students and
20,000-plus teachers across 27 school districts. In doing so, it
reflects our commitment to the vision that Orange County students will
lead the nation in college and career readiness and success.”

CENIC was an early innovator in obtaining dark fiber leases, and
lighting and managing fiber infrastructure to provide broadband
connectivity for its education and research members. CENIC is,
therefore, proud to announce the completion of a 100Gb connection for
OCDE, making it the first K-12 entity in the nation to enjoy the
benefits of 100Gb connectivity, and setting the stage for many of
California’s 58 counties to achieve the same levels of connectivity for
their schools.

“So much of what we do as educators, to provide our students with real
world learning experiences and access to resources, is dependent upon
internet connectivity,” said Irvine Unified Superintendent of Schools
Terry Walker, from one of the 27 school districts to benefit from this
new connection. “The ability to have a 100Gb connection will provide the
Irvine Unified School District with the limitless ability to
dramatically transform how students learn by leveraging technology and
internet bandwidth in a way that has never been possible for K-12
schools, until now. It is the equivalent of adding 20 lanes to the 5
Freeway – imagine what that would do for traffic in Southern California.
Now, imagine the possibilities for education.”

Leveraging the FCC’s Second E-Rate Modernization Order, which equalizes
the treatment of lit and dark fiber, CENIC has successfully implemented
scalable optical infrastructure to ensure OCDE will be able to meet the
needs of the students and teachers in Orange County for years to come.
As demand for additional bandwidth occurs, increasing the capacity of
the fiber that has been deployed will be a simple matter of adding
relatively inexpensive optical components to the existing equipment.

“The bandwidth needs for our schools are increasing at a tremendous
rate, and keeping up with this trend has presented some challenges. The
explosive growth of computing devices and rich online learning in our
schools makes this bandwidth critically important for our students,”
said Dr. Todd Finnell, County Superintendent of Schools in Imperial
County. “Lighting up the first 100 Gig circuit in California’s K-12
system is indicative of this growth, and the need for it came much
sooner than any of us would have expected. This is a major step forward
for school networking in California, and the students throughout Orange
County will see immediate improvements in their level of connectivity
and the many benefits it brings.”

The Orange County 100Gb dark fiber connection is the first of a number
of planned 100Gb connections for K-12 sites in California. CENIC is
working to complete 100Gb connections for Riverside and San Diego County
Offices of Education within the next few months. An additional ten 100Gb
connections for K-12 sites are included in CENIC’s consortial E-Rate
filing and planned for production after July 1, 2016, coinciding with
the current FCC E-Rate cycle.

“The remarkable collaboration among CDE, OCDE, CENIC, and our private
sector colleagues who provided the fiber leases and the hardware is
another example of the uniqueness of the CENIC community,” said CENIC
President & CEO Louis Fox. “Ultimately, our students and teachers,
faculty and students, and researchers and clinicians will use these new
capacities in ways that we never imagine as they focus on the critical
issues of our time and invent a better future for us all.”

About CENIC •

CENIC connects California to the world—advancing education and research
statewide by providing the world-class network essential for innovation,
collaboration, and economic growth. This nonprofit organization operates
the California Research & Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity
network designed to meet the unique requirements of over 20 million
users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with
educators, researchers, and other vital public-serving institutions.
CENIC’s Charter Associates are part of the world’s largest education
system; they include the California K-12 system, California Community
Colleges, the California State University system, California’s Public
Libraries, the University of California system, Stanford, Caltech, and
USC. CENIC also provides connectivity to leading-edge institutions and
industry research organizations around the world, serving the public as
a catalyst for a vibrant California.

About Orange County Department of Education

The Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) is a public education
organization offering support services to 27 school districts and more
than 600 schools and 20,000 educators serving over 500,000 students in
Orange County. OCDE’s personnel offer support, professional development,
and student programs through its divisions and departments:
Administrative Services, Alternative Education, Business Services,
Career and Technical Education, Information Technology, Instructional
Services, Legal Services, School and Community Services, and Special

About California Department of Education

The California Department of Education (CDE) oversees the state’s
diverse and dynamic public school system, which is responsible for the
education of more than seven million children and young adults in more
than 9,000 schools. The CDE and the State Superintendent of Public
Instruction are responsible for enforcing education law and regulations,
and for continuing to reform and improve public elementary school
programs, secondary school programs, adult education, some preschool
programs, and child care programs. The CDE’s mission is to provide a
world-class education for all students, from early childhood to
adulthood. The CDE serves our state by innovating and collaborating with
educators, schools, parents, and community partners, preparing students
to live, work, and thrive in a highly connected world.

About K12HSN

K12HSN is a state program funded by the California Department of
Education. The California Department of Education competitively selected
the Imperial County Office of Education
(ICOE) as the Lead Education Agency (LEA) and manager of the K-12 High
Speed Network program. K12HSN provides the California community with
network connectivity, internet services, teaching and learning
application coordination, and videoconferencing coordination and support.


Kao Saefong, 714-220-3464