July 06, 2005 22:22 ET

James Cook Deploying High-Speed Converged Network from Nortel, Commander; Secure Network to Provide Students, Staff with Rich Multimedia Services

TOWNSVILLE, Australia--(CCNMatthews - Jul 6, 2005) -

James Cook University (JCU) in north Queensland is deploying a high-speed network from Nortel (NYSE: NT)(TSX: NT) to deliver converged multimedia services to students and staff across multiple campuses.

This will be a major upgrade to the university's network, providing an infrastructure for delivering multimedia services like multicast video and IP (Internet Protocol) telephony. Nortel's Gold nPower partner, Commander, is implementing the upgrade. JCU is investing AU$2 million in the network upgrade.

Founded in 1970, JCU is Australia's leading tropical research university, with 14,000 students spread across campuses in Townsville and Cairns and learning centres in Mount Isa, Mackay and Thursday Island. The University offers courses in a broad range of study areas with a strong research focus, and was recently ranked eighth among Australian universities by the Swiss Centre for Science and Technology's Research Champions League.

"We wanted a network infrastructure that provided a sound, scalable foundation for delivering rich multimedia and high-speed data services to our students and staff and put us at the forefront of universities and schools in the region," said Professor Andrew Vann, pro-vice chancellor, Information Services and Technologies, James Cook University.

"Our network improvements had to meet critical objectives, such as significantly expanding our range of communication services while reducing network complexity and management," Vann said. "Nortel's highly cost-competitive solution not only met these objectives but also gave us flexibility to meet future needs without making major additional investments in the network."

With the new network capabilities, students will be able to take advantage of high-speed multicasting services like high-definition video streaming directly to the desktop, giving them a far richer multimedia experience than previously possible. Staff will enjoy faster, more reliable and secure network services without disruption regardless of how many users over available ports are accessing the network.

Nortel and Commander were chosen by JCU after a round of technical presentations identified the 10-Gigabit solution as most suited to JCU's requirements.

Vann said the new network should deliver tangible benefits for everyone at JCU, from students and staff to network administrators.

The Nortel solution will include:

-- Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 -- 10-Gigabit core switch

-- Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch 5530 -- for one- to 10-Gigabit distribution

-- Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch 5520 -- 10/100/1000 Megabit edge switches with power-over-Ethernet (PoE)

This will provide 8,500 Ethernet ports with PoE across all campuses.

"Together with highly experienced and proficient partners like Commander, we have extensive experience globally in the design and deployment of network solutions for distributed environments such as JCU," said Mark Stevens, president, Australia and New Zealand, Nortel. "We worked closely with Commander to identify JCU's unique requirements and tailor cost-effective, technically advanced solutions that maximised the benefits we could collectively offer."

"For JCU we are using switch clustering architecture to provide a solution that is purposely designed for real-time multimedia applications by providing resiliency, scalability and simplicity of deployment and management," Stevens said. "We expect total cost of ownership to be further reduced via support of industry standards so that re-training of existing administration staff is kept to a minimum."

These functions were verified in a recent Tolly Group report on Ethernet Routing Switch 8600.

"Tolly Group testing shows that Nortel's Resilient Terabit Cluster Solution allows Enterprise and Service Providers to scale Gigabit and 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections with sub-second failover while processing 649 million frames per second," said Kevin Tolly, president, chief executive officer and founder of The Tolly Group. "This resiliency provides non-stop performance for the triple play of voice, video and data in the event of a network disruption."

Carl van Wyk, communications infrastructure manager, James Cook University, said the University is considering a wholesale migration to IP telephony next year, with the new network presenting an open migration path to the technology.

"Our existing PABX is nearing the end of its life, so a move to IP telephony is the logical next step in our network evolution," van Wyk said. "One of the many benefits of Nortel's IP telephony-enabled solution is that it gives us the platform we need for a straight migration to IP telephony without having to reinvest in the network infrastructure. Since our network ports provide PoE, it's simply a matter of switching on IP services at the core and connecting IP handsets at the desktop. Nortel doesn't limit us to using its IP telephony hardware either, so in terms of scalability and choice, we're more than happy with our future options."

The first phase of the network deployment will be completed in September 2005, with the full network expected to go live in readiness for the 2006 academic year.

About Nortel

Nortel is a recognized leader in delivering communications capabilities that enhance the human experience, ignite and power global commerce, and secure and protect the world's most critical information. Serving both service provider and enterprise customers, Nortel delivers innovative technology solutions encompassing end-to-end broadband, Voice over IP, multimedia services and applications, and wireless broadband designed to help people solve the world's greatest challenges. Nortel does business in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit Nortel on the Web at For the latest Nortel news, visit

About Commander

The Commander business has been tailoring communications technology to meet Australia's business needs nationally for over 20 years. Commander began with office telephone systems and through a series of strategic acquisitions and relationships with leading technology companies, has broadened its expertise to provide a complete communications solution spanning voice, data, Internet, mobile and network products and services. In addition to a full range of products, Commander has one of the largest business-dedicated technical forces in Australia. More information is available at

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