Press Releases

ORION improves network resiliency and enhances Northern connectivity in Ontario

TORONTO, August 8, 2019 – ORION, Ontario’s provincial research and education network, is proud to announce two major upgrades to our network. We have increased the core network speed to 200 Gigabits per second (Gbps) and extended 200 Gbps capability to our Sudbury point of presence (PoP). These upgrades are part of ORION’s broader network resiliency improvements and enhance connectivity for our Northern constituents.

Modern communications networks like ORION are structured in layers. The ‘core’, or centre, layer of a network moves large amounts of data at very high speed out towards the ‘edge’ layer, where end users can access it. Increasing core network speed to 200 Gbps (up from 40 Gbps), will enable ORION to provide quintuple the bandwidth available to constituents at five times the speed. This speed increase will allow faster data transfers for research and education and provides a new redundant path to our Peterborough PoP, via North Bay. This will also enable faster rerouting of network traffic in the event of fibre cable breaks, minimizing disruption to ORION’s constituents.

Upgrading ORION’s Sudbury PoP to 200 Gbps represents a 20-fold increase in bandwidth. This achievement resolves a bottleneck in the network’s Northern segment and provides ORION’s Northern constituents far greater availability of connectivity for future growth. A network bottleneck occurs when a system connected to a network sends more data than is supported by the network’s current capacity. Previously, traffic from ORION’s 100 Mbps core would bottleneck after arriving at the 10 Mbps Sudbury PoP, limiting the speed of data transfer that could be offered to Northern constituents. ORION’s upgraded core network and Northern segment remove these limits.

These upgrades will strengthen ORION’s digital infrastructure as we fulfill our mandate to support equitable access to research and education across the province.


Alfonso Licata, CEO and President, ORION: “ORION always strives to go faster, be better, and meet the needs of our research and education community. It means rising to the challenge of creating ultra-high-speed broadband connections in areas with limited infrastructure. The recent enhancements to our high-speed network improves connectivity opportunities, which can lead to supporting local economic development and better connect isolated communities in Northern Ontario. Through these network upgrades, ORION will continue to enable even greater ground-breaking discoveries and cutting-edge education in the 21st century and beyond.”

David Smith, Chief Technology Officer, ORION: “This network upgrade significantly strengthens the ORION network, providing state-of-the-art connectivity in support of research, education, and innovation in Ontario. This advanced network solution will help fulfill the ever-increasing requirements of our community and sustain the ‘big data’ streams they use to make the world a better place.”

About ORION:

ORION is a not-for-profit organization supporting Ontario’s progress with essential digital infrastructure. Since 2001, we’ve facilitated new discoveries by connecting research and education institutions, regions, and people across the province, enabling collaboration, learning, forging partnerships, and providing our community with the digital tools and expertise they need to make the world a better place.

Read more about ORION at | @ORIONNetwork

For media inquiries, contact:

Cathy Bogaart
Director, Marketing and Communications
Office: 416.507.9860 ext. 250