Ohio to expand medical corridor over new ultra-fast broadband network

Ohio is pushing forward on a ten-fold boost to its broadband network speeds. In an event today that included Governor Kasich and researchers from Ohio State, University of Cincinnati, Summa Western Reserve Hospital and Case Western Reserve University officials outlined the state’s plan to become a world leader in medical research.

Ohio is launching the first ever state-led initiative to provide a statewide 100 Gigabits (Gbps) per second broadband network. The state wants to leverage its existing medical research and university network to bring companies and funding into the state in order to create jobs and grow the economy.

Under a recently approved agreement with Cisco and Juniper, Ohio will invest approximately $10 million to lay over 1,800 miles of fiber, and increase its current 10 Gbps capacity to 100 Gbps. At this speed, every one of Ohio’s 1.8 million enrolled K-12 students could download an eBook simultaneously in just over two minutes.

At the event, Governor Kasich noted that in a hospital setting at this speed, “300,000 x rays could be transferred in one minute, 8.5 million electronic medical records could be transferred in one minute.”

This expansion leverages the fiber optic network operated by OARnet, a member of the Ohio Board of Regents Ohio Technology Consortium. The 100 Gbps network will connect Ohio’s major metropolitan areas to northern and southern connection points of Internet2, a nationwide advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community, spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government.

So far, the network is gaining traction with the private sector, Cisco has recognized the network as transformative for the state. Venture capital firm Kliner Perkins has also invested in medical research in the state.

State officials are working with both the university system and the hospital system to create a medical corridor that will run on the new network and leverage existing facilities such as the state’s world class medical simulation center in order to attract research dollars and new businesses.

“We want to build a medical corridor and become a hub for technology like neuromodulation,” the Governor said.