Sasktchewan Research Network

Sasktchewan Research Network

November 17, 2006 12:00 ET

Northern Light Project Extends SRnet Research and Education Network to Prince Albert and LaRonge

LARONGE, SASKATCHEWAN--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 17, 2006) - The Saskatchewan Research Network (SRnet), Saskatchewan's advanced research and education (R&E) network, has extended its R&E network beyond its Regina-Saskatoon base to include Prince Albert and LaRonge.

SRnet's network capacity in LaRonge represents the highest bandwidth research and education network in the most northerly geographic location in Canada.

Dr. Andrew Bjerring, President of CANARIE, and Allan Hilton, Deputy Minister for Saskatchewan Northern Affairs, joined Cyril Scheske, SRnet President, to officially launch the network at Northland's College in LaRonge today.

"Canada's new government is building stronger communities in northern Saskatchewan by investing in SRnet and other technology infrastructure that will keep us productive, competitive and in touch with the world," said Carol Skelton, Minister of National Revenue and Western Economic Diversification.

"It is a pleasure to welcome northern Saskatchewan to the networking world of innovation, with new opportunities for economic prosperity, and delivery of healthcare and education," said A. Bjerring. "SRnet, CANARIE and CAnet 4 have opened a door to your expertise and your knowledge, which we invite you to share not only with Saskatchewan but with all of Canada and the rest of the world."

SRnet's Northern Light, Northern Extension project was developed in two phases: phase one secured a dedicated fibre network connecting Prince Albert to SRnet's Saskatoon switch; phase two secured access to a fibre network connecting LaRonge to SRnet's Saskatoon switch.

"With this strategic infrastructure now in place, Prince Albert and LaRonge are good places to locate new federal research institutes for such things as First Nations health care or uranium mine remediation," says Cy Scheske, President of SRnet. "Having such strategic infrastructure within a community creates a host of opportunities to attract investment into research intensive businesses and institutions."

SRnet access will enable researchers, educators, students, and health professionals in Prince Albert and La Ronge to collaborate with their peers and access facilities (scientific equipment, libraries, and museums) in other provinces and other countries from their desktops in northern Saskatchewan.

"The research network has produced strategic opportunities for Saskatchewan businesses, and will serve as an important tool for economic development in Northern Saskatchewan communities," Saskatchewan Industry and Resources Minister Eric Cline, said. "This network shows Saskatchewan innovation at work by connecting communities to larger centers to provide services like distance education and tele-health which are essential to developing the people and resources of Northern Saskatchewan."

SRnet's new Prince Albert members include the Saskatchewan Forest Centre and SIAST's Woodland Campus as well as the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan's satellite offices. Its newest LaRonge members include Northland's College, Northern Teacher Education Program (NORTEP) and the Keewatin Career Development Centre (KCDC).

The Prince Albert extension was facilitated by Shaw Big Pipe and included the provision of local fibre connections within PA. SRnet secured a five-year agreement for the Saskatoon-Prince Albert link.

SRnet secured a 10-year agreement from Sask Tel for the Saskatoon-LaRonge core network. Local access within LaRonge was made possible through the construction of a local network installed by Earthvision Systems Ltd.

Funding for the project came from four sources. CANARIE provided $800,000, while Western Economic Diversification Canada and Saskatchewan Industry and Resources each supplied $187,421 through the Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA). In addition, SRnet provided $141,000 in capital and $462,000 in operational funding.

About SRnet

SRnet, Saskatchewan's Optical Regional Advanced Network (ORAN) interconnects to CA(i)net 4, Canada's advanced research and education network operated by CANARIE.

SRnet is a non-profit membership organization funded primarily from membership fees and provides its member organisations access to CAnet 4, CANARIE's national research and education backbone network. CAnet 4 in turn, interconnects to research and education networks in 52 countries.

SRnet provides research and education network access to researchers, educators and students working at or attending one of the 18 SRnet member-clients in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and La Ronge including: the University of Regina, the University of Saskatchewan, the National Research Council and Environment Canada labs in Regina and Saskatoon, the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron, and Canadian Space Agency in Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan researchers, educators and students, via their SRnet connectivity, can collaborate with their peers in other provinces or other countries and can use the international system of research and education networks to access scientific institutes, research facilities, museums, libraries and health facilities from around the world.

About CANARIE and CAnet 4

CANARIE, Canada's advanced network development organization, is a not-for-profit corporation supported by its members, project partners and the Federal Government. Since 1993, CANARIE has received more that $350 million from the Government of Canada. That funding has been used for the research and implementation of advanced networks and applications that stimulate economic growth and increase Canada's international competitiveness. CAnet 4 is the fourth generation of Canada's research and education network. CANARIE's mission is to accelerate Canada's advanced network development and use by facilitating the widespread adoption of aster, more efficient networks and by enabling the next generation of advanced products, applications and services to run on them.

Contact Information

  • SRnet
    Cyril (Cy) Scheske
    Office of the Minister of National Revenue
    and Minister of Western Economic Diversification
    Mike Winterburn
    Communications Director
    Susan Baldwin
    Senior Director, Operations
    Saskatchewan Industry and Resources
    Bob Ellis
    Public Affairs