Networks sing with CANARIE

To say that government wastes gobs of taxpayer money is about as controversial as asserting that George Lucas can’t write decent dialogue. From Adrian Clarkson’s Scandinavian boondoggle to the ongoing sponsorship scandal, the feds have proven no one knows how to spend money for nothing like public officials.

Occassionally though the government does pour its money into worthwhile projects. One shining example is CANARIE, the not-for-profit corporation that operates Canada’s super high-speed research network. CANARIE, which also gets help from the private sector, aims to advance the adoption of more efficient networks by enabling next-generation products and applications.

Some might think that CANARIE’s recent announcement about upgrading its network, CA*net4, to support speeds of up to 50Gbps is overkill. 50Gbps is a staggering amount of bandwidth. What could anyone possibly use it for?

Quite a bit it turns out. On the application side, CANARIE is allowing violin students at McGill University to get instruction from their teacher in Ottawa through high-definition videoconferencing sessions.

That may sound more like a luxury than a necessity, but for a country like Canada, with a widely dispersed population, the implications of videoconferencing are tremendous. Medical students in schools across the country could get in-depth training from experts in their field. Patients in remote areas could have medical procedures overseen by top-flight doctors in Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver (this is already happening through the efforts of NORTH Network, a telehealth initiative).

CA*net4 also allows research institutions to share huge amounts of data so they can work cooperatively.

CANARIE is also pushing the boundaries of how organizations use their networks. For example, the group allows outfits using the network to provision their own wavelengths on CA*net, including changes to the topology or bandwidth on the fly.

Imagine the implications of such a system in the private sector. Firms would be able to order a high-speed pipe for a last-minute videoconferencing session, set their own quality levels and tear it down after they were done, paying only for the bandwidth used during the session, instead of wasting money on a seldom-used, dedicated high-speed link.

Of course it might take time and a lot of convincing for carriers to implement a bandwidth-on-demand system.

The bottom line is CANARIE’s work is helping Canada stay on the cutting edge of networking technology and improving access to health and education services. The next time the government considers sending a chauffeur on a trip where there’s no driving involved, it might reconsider and put its money somewhere useful like CANARIE.

QuickLink: 052226

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now