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OSHEAN Celebrates its 10th Year

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  • From: Nimota Solola <>
  • To:
  • Subject: OSHEAN Celebrates its 10th Year
  • Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 15:54:41 -0500

For Immediate Release

December 7, 2009

Contact: Dyana Koelsch


Local Technology Non-Profit Coalition Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Gov. Carcieri Picks OSHEAN Over 57 Others to Submit Technology Stimulus Grant Application

OSHEAN (pronounced Ocean) is proud to celebrate its 10th anniversary this
year as a nonprofit coalition of universities, hospitals, government
agencies and other nonprofit organizations which provide innovative
Internet based technology solutions for its members.

Started in 1999 with a National Science Foundation grant, a Slater
Foundation Grant, and a discussion between URI, Brown, and RINET, OSHEAN
(Ocean State Higher Education Economic Development and Administrative
Network, Inc.) has grown to 28 members including 17 institutions of
higher education, 6 healthcare agencies, and numerous other public
agencies, including schools and libraries through its member RINET.
OSHEAN's dedicated communication infrastructure for the research, health
care, education and public service community now affects over 350,000
individuals including hospital patients and physicians, university
students and professors, library patrons, and school children and their

"In the past 10 years OSHEAN has pioneered work to help our members find
technical solutions for their organizations that are affordable, secure,
and comprehensive," said Joseph Pangborn, OSHEAN Board Chair. "OSHEAN
has built a reliable communications infrastructure for our members while
also contributing expertise and resources to a wide range of initiatives."

OSHEAN has a long record of creating practical applications and
collaborations among its members to make a difference in people's lives.
Here are just a few:

- Coordinating the administration of the H1N1 vaccine to thousands of
Rhode Island school children is a massive organizational task. OSHEAN
worked with its member RI DMAT to develop a Microsoft based emergency
personnel management tool that integrates the State's medical reserve
core, disaster medical assistance team and volunteer health professionals
into one management interface. OSHEAN put in place a special H1N1 server
to handle the 900% increased computer traffic. The result- RI is already
receiving high marks for its efficient vaccine distribution.

- Increased video streaming means higher network demand. OSHEAN members nearly doubled their usage while watching the inauguration of President
Obama. OSHEAN's robust network was able to handle the record high traffic
level and also provided members with access to a multicast feed of C-Span
via Internet2.

- ConnectED Connects ED: In the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy,
OSHEAN members banded together to explore emergency notification systems
available to schools in Rhode Island. With the purpose of ensuring
communications to students, faculty and administration during a crisis,
after a thorough investigation, seven members selected the ConnectED
service provided for OSHEAN by Blackboard, Inc. Roger Williams University,
one of the first adopters, immediately put the service to use on its
campus, where it has developed into a true aid for campus outreach.

- As part of the Northeast Research and Education Network, OSHEAN provides members access to the high speed fiber optic network that
connects and unifies research and education communities in New York
and New England. This allows some of the most prestigious universities
in the world to explore global resources that utilize ultra-broadband

- The Hurricane Katrina Lesson: After Hurricane Katrina devastated New
Orleans in late August 2005, several large institutions, including New
Orleans' Tulane University, were without computer service for several
days while backup equipment was being set up in Houston. To make
certain this didn't happen in Rhode Island in the event of a disaster,
OSHEAN established a disaster recovery site removed from Rhode Island
complete with the dedicated fiber to connect its members, including all
of the institutions of higher education in Rhode Island. The Safe Harbor
offsite disaster recovery facility provides members with facilities to
deploy the level of back-up required, from web presence to full scale
fail-over support.

OSHEAN's decade long history of pursuing opportunities for local, regional
and national collaborations has created an environment for nonprofits to
share resources, information and expertise. In 2008 alone OSHEAN saved
its members $2.5 million. As it enters its second decade OSHEAN will
continue broadening its communication infrastructure to connect members.

"We are continuing to concentrate on helping our members find ways to
continue collaborating and to weather the current economic downturn" said
George K. Loftus. "As a first step, OSHEAN is actively seeking federal
stimulus money to help expand our network to bring the required capacity
to underserved members in geographically challenging parts of our region."

In August 2009, OSHEAN submitted a grant to seek funds from the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act's (ARRA) Broadband Technology Opportunity
Program (BTOP) to expand its existing dedicated optical network. An
investment of $31.5 million to expand the existing next-generation
broadband utilizing dedicated fiber optic networks would provide the
increased capacity to 22 research and education-focused organizations in
Rhode Island. The funds would create over 70 new high-wage high-skilled
direct jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs.

Gov. Donald Carcieri selected OSHEAN's proposal over 57 others that would have affected Rhode Island. "I strongly recommend that OSHEAN be the recipient of this competitive grant opportunity," the Governor wrote to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which will be considering all the applications. OSHEAN's application "crosses all the categories and meets all of my criteria," Gov. Carcieri added.

"We're proud of what we've been able to accomplish by working together with our members over the past ten years," said Loftus. "Winning this grant would give us enormous momentum as we head into our second decade."


OSHEAN, Inc. (pronounced ocean) is a consortium of non-profit
organizations that was formed to foster the development of a communication
infrastructure for Rhode Island's research, educational, health care,
and public service community. OSHEAN is a committed to developing
network expertise among its member organizations and to creating an
environment that encourages collaboration through shared resources,
information and expertise

Nimota Solola
Communications Administrator
401.886.0887 x212
401.886.0855 FAX

  • OSHEAN Celebrates its 10th Year, Nimota Solola, 12/11/2009

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