RealTime IT News

Canadian Optical Net Takes "Giant Step in Internet History"

Canada is poised to take delivery of a powerful new network resource--CA(x)net 3, the world's first national optical Internet.

John Manley, the Industry Canada Minister, announced a collaborative partnership between CANARIE (Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research, Industry and Education) and a Bell Canada-led private sector consortium to develop the resource.

Based on new fibre optic-based technology and Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing, the greatly expanded bandwidth that CA(x)net 3 will provide is expected to revolutionize the way Canadian industry, government, and researchers collaborate and conduct high-speed research and information exchange, the firms said.

Significant funding for the project derives from $55 million allocated in the 1998 federal budget for CANARIE to deploy a national optical network as a key element of Industry Canada's Connecting Canadians agenda.

Unlike existing networks, which have been built primarily to support voice communications, CA(x)net 3, targeted to be fully active as early as October 1998, is being built specifically as an Internet network with voice traffic treated as just another form of data.

"This giant step in Internet history is a wonderful example of what can happen when Canada's public and high technology private sectors direct their joint skills and experience towards a common goal," said John MacDonald, Chairman and CEO of Bell Canada.