ORION in 2018: Looking back at last year

2018 SnapshotInnovators from across the province gathered together last week at Advance Ontario, the conference hosted in partnership with Compute Ontario and SOSCIP, to look forward to the future of technology. When we have the chance to look forward, we must also remind ourselves to look back.

In 2018, ORION made some great strides in connecting Ontario’s innovation community. We upgraded our network, that covers 6,000 km, reaching more than two million users. Users such as students, teachers, researchers, and innovators who are shaping the future. Having a connected private community is crucial to enabling those who innovate and create.

This year, the ORION team has been hard at work making sure we meet the needs of our constituents.

Looking back, we are proud of what we’ve achieved this past year. These accomplishments are featured in our 2018 Annual Snapshot. Although I have highlighted many here, I hope you will read this report to better understand what ORION and our community has been up to.

We upgraded almost 70% of our fibre optic network.

This year we have upgraded almost 70% of our network with the capability to achieve multi-terabit speeds. We can even reach one terabit per second speeds in some regions.

We know the ability to transfer large amounts of data quickly is paramount to our constituents, so they now have access to some of the highest speeds available today. We hope these upgrades will present brand new opportunities for all our users.

We are constantly evolving our security services to be adaptable to any situation.

Our shared chief information security officer (CISO) initiative evolved and now we are working on scaling it up for the largest impact in our communities. We are hoping that others will learn from this initiative and see it as a starting point for implementing their own guidelines and practices to improve their cybersecurity posture.

With more Canadian educational institutions facing data breaches, ORION is providing crucial security services and guidance to constituents. In this snapshot, you will read about how one of the largest school boards in Canada, the Simcoe Country District School Board, has improved their protection from cyber threats.

We have worked towards creating a connected Ontario.

A major part of the ORION network is connecting Ontarians all over the province and allowing them to share knowledge, regardless of distance. Some geographies struggle to share their information and insights far and wide. ORION has partnered with TVO’s Ontario Hubs to help such communities share their stories with the rest of the province.

It is through media dissemination that many learn of the important issues of these regions. ORION is working to help facilitate more projects like these that truly help Ontarians connect with the rest of the province.

Looking forward in 2019

In 2019, there’s a lot to be excited about. We are constantly working on new ways to empower researchers, educators, learners, and all innovators. We hope that we can continue to hear from you how we can better serve and support you in your endeavors.

Alfonso Licata

President and CEO, ORION