Creating Cyber Shortcuts

Posted: October 24, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Emily Yaghmour

Data files traveling between George Mason’s campuses have long commutes. To get from one campus to another, they must travel along a busy statewide network called Network Virginia. But very soon they will have a shortcut.

Fiberoptic cables are being strung between the campuses to carry data traffic between them. The difference will be “like going from a two-lane road to an eight-lane superhighway,” says Randy Anderson, the University Computing and Information Systems manager of emerging technologies. As a result, transferring files, particularly large ones, will be much faster.

Another major benefit of having such a direct connection between the campuses is that the reliability of distance-learning transmissions between them will improve greatly, says Anderson. Currently, video transmitted between the campuses has to take the same route through Network Virginia that all other Internet traffic takes. Along the way, it must pass through a series of switches. “At each switch, there’s a chance for something to go wrong,” explains Anderson. By circumventing the network, video transmissions between the campuses will be more reliable.

Anderson expects that the university will have access to this direct pipeline between the campuses by the end of the year.

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