FirstLight Fiber has announced that the University of Vermont (UVM) will expand its relationship with FirstLight to include a 10 Gbps connectivity upgrade. The continuation of this mutually beneficial relationship, which began in 2006, is due in part to the North East Cyberinfrastructure Consortium (NECC) grants UVM received through its Vermont EPSCoR and Vermont Genetics Network (VGN) programs supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health to support the efforts for multi-gigabit speeds and reliable, scalable fiber connectivity in the region.  Access to “Tier 1” city infrastructures is a common goal for both the educational institution and the State of Vermont, and this grant makes it possible for UVM to leverage the power of the Internet and operate a world-class network.

With nearly 10,000 undergraduate and 14,000 graduate students taking 100 majors in seven undergraduate schools and colleges, UVM’s connectivity is critical to internal and external communications. As a part of the network upgrade, UVM was in search of a dozen 10 Gig waves on two separate paths: UVM to Albany and UVM to Hanover/Dartmouth College. FirstLight’s ability to meet this need and the overall technical requirements for the university were among the reasons why UVM selected FirstLight. The NECC project connected UVM to FirstLight’s dedicated fiber optic network, linking UVM to research institutions throughout the Northeast and to the Internet backbone.

“FirstLight was the best option for our needs for this project. Through the university’s connection to FirstLight and its fiber portfolio, we have created many opportunities for our research and education partners to obtain high speed connectivity throughout this region,” commented Patrick Clemins , Ph.D., cyber specialist for Vermont EPSCoR and Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Vermont. “Through FirstLight, we can offer more bandwidth and greater reliability to our community. Fiber networks serve as a gateway to the rest of the world, and because of FirstLight’s team and network, we can consider the next phase of connectivity for the entire State of Vermont, which includes VT UCAN, the Vermont Unified Community Anchor Network.”

FirstLight has been building and operating its own fiber optic network for over 15 years. The network provides connectivity to museums, schools, government buildings and many other institutions throughout Vermont, Upstate New York, and the entire Northern New England region.

“We are honored to be the University of Vermont’s fiber-based backbone provider,” commented Kurt Van Wagenen , president and CEO of FirstLight. “We pride ourselves on our ability to connect our talented team of experts with universities and educational institutions, like UVM, in order to design and implement a complete solution that allows these institutions to enhance the learning environment. As the needs of UVM and the community it serves evolve, we look forward to continuing to act as their primary connectivity resource.”