Friday, October 12, 2001

Miami U. to use network

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Miami University will be the largest initial user of Butler County's planned 86-mile fiber-optics network.

        The county commissioners approved on Thursday a five-year lease agreement that would permit Miami University to use the network for $300,000 a year.

        The $2.7 million circular fiber-optics loop will run through Oxford, Fairfield, Hamilton, West Chester Township and Middletown, with another line running along Ohio 4 from Hamilton to Middletown.

        The fiber-optics network will link Miami's Oxford, Hamilton and Middletown campuses and would also connect its proposed campus on the former Voice of America property in West Chester Township.

        “It's really going to be a great asset,” said Holly Wissing, Miami spokeswoman. “It's good for the university. It's good for the county.”

        The broadband cable network will increase Miami's Internet capacity 64-fold and provide speedier access to the Internet, she said.

        The network also will expand the university's telecommunications system so that the three campuses will be able to communicate without relying on separate commercial carriers, she said.

        Installing the fiber-optics network is part of the commissioners' plan to attract high-tech businesses with their good-paying jobs.

        The network initially will serve government offices, businesses and schools. The county and Normap Inc. of Toledo, which will begin installing the system this year, can sell or lease fiber-optics strands.

        County officials see Miami as one of the key factors in attracting high-tech businesses to Butler. Such businesses generally flock to areas that have universities with strong research and technology programs.

        Miami's Web server receives 500,000 hits a day, not including the library, which handles 14.3 million electronic research requests a year, Ms. Wissing said.

        “The use of the Internet is just exploding on this campus and every other campus,” she said.


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