ORION’s ultra-fast network infrastructure an international “inspiration”

In July 2012 the Dominican Republic’s national power transmission provider, Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica Dominicana (ETED), sent a team of managers to Ontario to spend time with ORION. They came to observe the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 Photonic Service Switch in a live 100Gb deployment.

ETED has been tasked to improve the overall reliability of its power grid while investigating ways it might commercialize its telecommunications infrastructure to improve both accessibility and reliability across the island nation.

After exploring all of their options, ETED was drawn to ORION for a number of reasons. Foremost was that a significant portion of ORION’s ultra-fast fibre optic cable comes from Hydro One, Ontario’s provincial transmission utility. ORION’s fibre optic cables are also unique because they run alongside the ground wires mounted at the top rung of high voltage towers and transmission lines. This significantly reduces their susceptibility to damage or interruption from regular ground construction like digging and other cuts or breaks, often associated with underground cables.

This has been a great experience for ETED to observe ORION’s technology. We hope that in the near future this visit will help us develop our optical fibre projects.

– Gorki Encarnación, ETED manager

The ultimate goal of the ETED visit was to provide insight into network requirements for their country’s green field network deployment. A visit to one of ORION’s primary points of presence – at 151 Front Street in Toronto – yielded many interesting conversations for the ETED managers around their own equipment selection process, power supply sizing, back-up power sources and on-site environmental monitoring solutions.

In addition to the technical aspects of the ORION network, the ETED team was also inspired by ORION’s vast network infrastructure, business model and diverse membership base – connecting all of Ontario’s universities, colleges, and a growing number of school boards, teaching hospitals and cultural institutions, and built on a network used by nearly two million people daily for research, innovation, and education.

Observing the ORION business provided valuable insight into how ETED might commercialize and optimize their networks at home.Over the coming months, ETED will be focused on their next tasks: formulating a network strategy and deployment plan.

If successful, ORION’s inspiration will enable the ETED network to provide the people of the Dominican Republic with both a reliable consumer electrical grid and a telecommunications network fit for growth and scaling well into the future.