Press Releases

ORION is taking proactive steps to ensure network stability for COVID-19

ORION and our partners in Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN) are working to ensure that NREN infrastructure continues to support the needs of Canadian research and education communities as the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolves.

We are taking proactive steps to ensure enhanced stability of a service so essential in this pandemic situation.


In your emergency planning, we ask that you be mindful of the critical nature of the ORION network at this time. It is essential that we preserve access to ORION PoPs. This will help ensure continuity of service for all on our network. Please alert us through our usual network operations support channels to any change to your situation that may restrict our access to support your critical infrastructure.

(866) 862-0554


ORION has taken the following steps to ensure continuity of service and support you in a time of increased needs for, and reliance on, connectivity:

  • Enhanced monitoring to support proactive action
  • Staff and inventory augmentation and planning to improve time to repair
  • Upgrading capacity to support additional connectivity needs
  • Updated fieldwork guidelines, including enhanced personal safety
  • Stricter network change management to reduce risk

Our network teams are on alert and sharing information as we monitor network operations across the country. Normal network escalation protocols remain in effect.


As we already know, some organizations are considering moving classes online. Our Community Development team is standing by to work with you to meet your increased capacity needs.

For all inquiries about additional capacity, please contact:

SPSS – Update March 18

As many of you work to support staff and students to work and learn from home, we understand that you might have increased demand for your SPSS home or virtual licenses.  Through IBM and ORION’s partnership, we are now providing SPSS access, regardless of location.

All users of ORION’s IBM SPSS Campus Value program may now make use of all their licenses from home or virtually.  There is no additional charge for this amendment for the remainder of the academic year, until September 2020.

If you require additional licenses, please contact

Cybersecurity Tips at home – March 27

ORION posted a blog about cybersecurity tips you can follow while working from home during this crisis.

COVID-19-related services for the research and education community – updated April 22
  • CanCOVID: a COVID-19 research working to promote collaboration among research efforts
  • CIRA: free access to its cybersecurity services and infrastructure to help protect Canadian institutions
  • COVID-19 Resources: resources for researchers and clinicians participating in efforts to combat COVID-19 across Canada
  • Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE): The COVID-19 Collaboration Platform is working to bring together tech, small to medium enterprises, and qualified experts to combat COVID-19

See more resources on CANARIE’s website >

Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are making $20 million available each to researchers and academic institutes to help research and combat COVID-19.

AWS has other services offers that may be helpful during this crisis including:

  • Amazon Chime – Free pro licenses for new customers with an AWS account for 90 days
  • Amazon Workspace – Amazon WorkSpaces for up to 50 users at no charge for new customers (until June 30, 2020)

We will continue to update you regularly as the situation evolves. Please continue to check this page for updates.

About ORION:

ORION is a not-for-profit organization committed to actively supporting Ontario’s researchers, educators and innovators. Since 2001, we’ve facilitated new discoveries and learning by connecting institutions and regions, enabling collaboration, forging partnerships and providing our community with the digital tools they need to make the world a better place.

Read more about ORION | @ORIONNetwork

For further information:

Cathy Bogaart
Director, Marketing and Communications, ORION
416-507-9860 ext. 250