Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma-Based OneNet Revving Up Internet Speed

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma-Based OneNet Revving Up Internet Speed

Article excerpt

Von Royal is working to improve Internet infrastructure for universities and research centers across Oklahoma. As the executive director of OneNet, Royal runs the telecommunications network that provides Internet connections to colleges, universities, secondary schools and municipal libraries. OneNet, a nonprofit, is part of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and is operated in cooperation with the Oklahoma Office of State Finance.

A faster Internet connection will attract science and technology companies and improve major research at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. Royal said he wants to make that network 10,000 times faster than the current Internet connection, but he is constrained by limited funds. The money OneNet needs to build the network comes from fees from schools and universities, whose budgets are strained.

Most secondary schools and municipal libraries use a 100-megabit Internet connection. Royal wants to expand the connection to a 100- gigabit, or 100G, connection, or 10,000 times faster than the most common connection speed for those public entities. OneNet established the first 100G connection in October, and will likely complete the first leg of the network from Tulsa to Stillwater by June. The 100G network will eventually connect Tulsa to Norman and Norman to Oklahoma City, creating a high-speed Internet ring around the state's metro areas.

Royal is in Chicago this week with a dozen other Oklahoma businesses at the BIO International Convention. Unlike some of the other exhibitors, Royal isn't looking for money or a business partner. He's trying to spread awareness of Oklahoma's growing technology network, to attract new companies.

"OneNet, as part of the Regents of Higher Ed, we are partnering with the bioscience community," Royal said. "OneNet is a conduit for those (research) entities to be able to access the World Wide Web at high rates of speed needed by researchers. …

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