Press release

California, Oregon, and Washington Research & Education Networks Announce Collaborative Support for COVID-19 Western States Pact

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Statewide research and education networks in California, Oregon, and Washington have joined to support the shared approach announced by their states’ respective leaders, Governors Gavin Newsom, Kate Brown, and Jay Inslee, this week to move toward a reopening of economic activity while safeguarding health outcomes.

CENIC, Link Oregon, and Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) offer their ultra-broadband research and education telecommunications networks and services to:

  • Support continuity of our K-12 schools, community college, and university education and educational services online;
  • Support COVID-19 research activities among our universities, supercomputing facilities, and other research sites in our three states, across the US and abroad;
  • Support online components of clinical care of COVID-19 patients among our university medical centers and their partners; and
  • Assist ISPs and carriers in rural and underserved areas who need additional temporary network capacity and/or network strategies for medical, educational, and other community anchor institutions.

“Our three state networks support collaborations between and among our schools, universities, and health care institutions,” said CENIC President and CEO Louis Fox. “Use of R&E networks has increased significantly as our public-serving institutions shift to online learning and community engagement, remote access to research data, and specialized computing facilities on our campuses and in the cloud. Together, we are moving to stay ahead of the demand and help in any way we can.”

“Link Oregon and its founding members are proud to work collaboratively and nimbly with our long-time partners in the neighboring states to the north and south along the West Coast,” said Link Oregon Executive Director Steve Corbató. “At the forefront, our joint networking activities support the medical community’s collective clinical response to COVID-19 as well as rapidly formed, high-intensity research collaborations to address this pandemic and the dramatically transformed online learning environment within both K-12 and higher education.”

“We are seeing extraordinary increases in network traffic among medical and epidemiolocal researchers and modelers, and especially so among those on the West Coast. By pulling together we can do even more to help them work faster in order to determine the best treatments and public health responses, and to create and test the needed vaccines sooner,” said CEO of Pacific Northwest Gigapop Ron Johnson.

As network leaders and scientists, we are committed to supporting our governors’ plans. California Governor Gavin Newsom noted in a press conference on Tuesday: “As we contemplate reopening parts of our state, we must be guided by science and data, and we must understand that things will look different than before.” We support this vision and the plans that all three governors have articulated, and we stand ready to assist our research, education, and medical communities through these difficult times.

CENIC connects California to the world — advancing education and research statewide by providing the world-class network essential for innovation, collaboration, and economic growth. This nonprofit organization operates the California Research and Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity network designed to meet the unique requirements of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers, and individuals at other vital public-serving institutions. CENIC’s Charter Associates are part of the world’s largest education system; they include the California K-12 system, California Community Colleges, the California State University system, California’s public libraries, the University of California system, Stanford, Caltech, USC, and the Naval Postgraduate School. CENIC also provides connectivity to leading-edge institutions and industry research organizations around the world, serving the public as a catalyst for a vibrant California.

Link Oregon is the non-profit consortium of Oregon’s four research universities—OHSU, Oregon State University, Portland State University and the University of Oregon—and the State of Oregon through its office of Enterprise Information Services. Link Oregon provides high-speed, reliable, cost-effective fiber broadband connectivity to K-12 and higher education public education institutions, public health facilities, libraries, Tribes, and state government offices statewide.

Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) is a nonprofit corporation based in Seattle, Washington, that serves research, education and health care organizations throughout Washington and the greater northwest. PNWGP provides cost-effective, highly resilient, broadband networks to support the missions of these organizations and the needs of researchers, clinicians, faculty, students, and staff. PNWGP designs, implements, and manages a multi-state, high-bandwidth and high-capacity network specifically designed to meet the unique requirements of research and education communities.