Electronic data travels within campus buildings across a network of copper wires and electronic switches. Between campus buildings, the data travels across a network of underground fiber-optic cables to a central fiber distribution room. From there, the data enters the University's primary, core campus routers and is re-routed to either another campus building or to the Internet and the global community beyond the campus borders.
The network upgrade calls for improving and expanding the fiber-optic infrastructure with new fiber-optic cable. The new fiber-optic cables will be capable of handling larger amounts of data, regardless of the format-audio, video, text, images, etc.
In addition, the project plan calls for building a second fiber distribution room. New fiber-optic cables would provide a series of pathways between campus buildings and both distribution rooms to help prevent network outages between campus buildings and the Internet. The result will be better network performance and improved network resiliency.
Small incremental changes had been made to the fiber network from the fall 2006 through the summer of 2010. Major underground construction began during summer 2011 where new fiber optic cables were installed from both the primary fiber optic distribution room and secondary fiber optic distribution room to each one of the strategic "core" buildings on the main campus. During the summer od 2012, a massive undertaking built new underground conduit systems from the main campus to points reaching as far north as Washington Arms and the Chancellor's Residence. Once this effort was completed, new underground fiber optic cable was installed from the "core" buildings to each and every building on the main campus and some buildings off the edge of the north campus. In addition to these initiatives, we also extended fiber optic connectivity to a handful off off campus building utilizing the National Grid and Verizon pole line infrastructure as our pathway to connect the buildings.
In the Summer of 2014 we will undertake the final phase of underground fiber optic construction on the Main Campus. This phase will construct another layer of survivability to the fiber optic network by providing redundancy to every administrative and academic building on the Main Campus. Future plans will take us to the South Campus to evaluate what can be done to improve that system as well.