COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State University will get $2,722,902 in state funds for the “Dark Fiber Project,” thanks to approval this week by the State Controlling Board, state Rep. Michael Stinziano says.
“These sorts of investments are critical to the future economic development potential of our state,” said Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat.
With comment, the Controlling Board approved the release of $1.504 million in capital funds for the project as well as $720,000.00 as well as a waiver from competitive selection to contract with Cincinnati Bell Telephone, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, to provide leased dark fiber in Cincinnati for the Dark Fiber project.
The board also approved the release of $498,115 to purchase demarcation equipment from Cincinnati Bell for the project.
According to state records, the "Dark Fiber Project" refers specifically to the OARnet Network, which is a dedicated high-speed fiber-optic network linking Ohio colleges and universities with research facilities to support education, research and promote economic development. It is a dedicated high-speed broadband network that was designed as a next generation network.
In terms of physical infrastructure, the OARnet network is made up of 1,850 route miles of fiber optic cable that creates a statewide network backbone. In other words, the OARnet network is a statewide data transportation system for schools, research institutions and government. This data transportation system serves the growing needs of education and research in Ohio due to the advanced capabilities of the network.
According to state records, the advanced capabilities of the OARnet network come from how data is transported across the network. Instead of two streams of data on a traditional network, the OARnet network's fiber optic network can transport up to 32 high-capacity streams of data in each fiber optic cable.
Made up of six state lawmakers and a representative of the governor’s office, the State Controlling Board has the final say over some of the state’s larger spending requests.