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October 21, 2010. Billie Moreland, PhD, of Billie Moreland and Associates and Steve Simmons, PhD, E...

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07/31/2007 - Gigapop Launch Immanent

The Inland Northwest Gigapop will be officially launched at a ceremony on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at 1:00 pm. The ceremony will feature remarks from U. S. Senator Maria Cantwell as well as Dr. Judd Case, Dean of Science, EWU, along with representatives from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and WSU. Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession will preside. The launch will be held at the Riverpoint Campus in the University District in the Phase I Classroom Building, Room 122 at 668 N Riverpoint Boulevard.

Efforts to bring the Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) to Spokane began about three years ago with the City of Spokane as coordinator. The Pacific Northwest Gigapop network, a nonprofit organization operated by the University of Washington, enables its members to collaborate on a national and international level and supports new product development. The primary goal of the PNWGP is to enable research, development, and education by providing high-speed, reliable connections to national and international research and education networks, next-generation test-bed networks, and the commodity Internet. UW provides the network operations center, engineering, and business administration services to PNWGP. Currently, only a handful of U.S. cities are connected to these advanced networking technologies.

The road to GigaPop started in 2002 when Avista Utilities president Scott Morris and leaders from Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University, and others in Eastern Washington envisioned utilizing optical fiber assets (a $1.3 million contribution from Avista) as a private Internet for regional member-to-member collaboration in research, education, and business incubation. This vision was the genesis of the Virtual Possibilities Network (VPnet), which launched in September 2004. VPnet will be an important “last mile solution” allowing the Gigapop to reach virtually all research and educational institutions within the Inland Northwest.

In downtown Spokane, the Gigapop will operate in a “Ring” topology. The main Point-Of-Presence (POP) link with Seattle will be in the US Bank Building. Other POP’s will be in the Wells Fargo Building, and the Riverpoint network operation center (NOC) on the Riverpoint Campus. An additional branch line will take Gigapop capability to LLIX in Liberty Lake.

The Inland Northwest Gigapop will open by connecting all POPs with a ten gigabit Metro Ethernet (with a device capability of up to 320 gigabits for future expansion.) All of this will be carried by existing optical fiber. The Inland Northwest Regional Gigapop will link the region to other high performance networks.

Partners who helped make the Gigapop a reality include: Avista Corp, City of Spokane, Community Colleges of Spokane, Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, Greater Spokane Incorporated, Inland Northwest Health Service (INHS), Liberty Lake Internet Exchange (LLIX), Pacific Northwest Gigapop, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sirti, Spokane Public Schools, University of Washington, Washington State University, Whitworth University, and Zero dB.

Billie Moreland
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