News Release

Cisco Optical Solutions to Power CA*net 4, Canada's Next-Generation Research and Innovation Internet Backbone

CANARIE Inc. and Cisco Systems Canada team to develop research focused on customer empowered networking
Apr 29, 2002

TORONTO, ON - April 29, 2002 - CANARIE Inc., Canada's Internet development organization, and Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced they have entered into a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in developing research in advanced optical networking applications, technologies, and concepts in Canada. All research will be conducted on CA*net 4, the next generation of Canada's world-leading research and innovation Internet backbone, which will be powered by Cisco Complete Optical Multiservice Edge and Transport (COMET) optical networking solutions.

Through this relationship, Cisco will help establish a research fund, as well as planning to contribute engineering resources and networking software. The research will focus on defining the control infrastructure that facilitates customer empowered networking capabilities through an optical infrastructure. Customer empowered networking will eventually provide end-users with the ability to set up and manage their own optical networks. Initially, it will enable researchers to create high capacity wavelength connections with distant experiments and computing resources to support collaboration in such data-intensive fields as particle physics, genomics, and astronomy. Eventually, this same architecture could also provide the means by which applications in learning, health, entertainment, and e-business are delivered to schools, homes, and businesses.

"CA*net 4 and this advanced research program will continue to help brand Canada and Canadian companies as world leaders in networking technology, as well as in key application areas," stated Andrew K. Bjerring, CANARIE's President and CEO. "The result will be a competitive advantage in the global marketplace and the ability to deliver cost-effective services in fields such as education and health to all Canadians."

"Our research collaboration will combine the unique capabilities and resources of CANARIE Inc. and Cisco Systems to stimulate increased knowledge and services in optical networking, right here in Canada," said Pierre-Paul Allard, Managing Director at Cisco Systems Canada Co.

CA*net 4 will feature Cisco's market-leading metro optical transport platform, the Cisco ONS 15454, and the Cisco Transport Manager element management system. The Cisco ONS 15454 SONET Multiservice Platform delivers scalable SONET transport, integrated optical networking, and unprecedented multiservice interfaces. The Cisco ONS 15454 is an integral part of the Cisco COMET portfolio, providing the flexibility and scalability to enable rapid, cost-effective deployment of value-added voice, video, data, and wavelength services. Cisco Transport Manager, the single, integrated element management system for the entire Cisco COMET portfolio, simplifies functional management and accelerates deployment of all network elements in the optical transport system.

About CA*net 4

CA*net 4 is a national optical IP network serving research and educational institutions that spans roughly 16,000 km from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Victoria, British Columbia. Developed and operated by CANARIE Inc., the CA*net 4 design is based on very high bandwidth, point-to-point wavelengths of light on a fibre-optic network. The physical network will interconnect a minimum of once access point per province, plus Ottawa, plus three exchange points in the U.S. It is through these access points that the ten provincial and more than 60 international research networks will connect to CA*net 4. Over the next five years, CA*net 4 is expected to become the world's first customer-empowered research network, providing end-users with the ability to set up and manage their own optical wavelength networks using parts of CA*net 4's total capacity. CA*net 4 will replace Canada's existing advanced Internet backbone, CA*net 3, an IP-over-DWDM network. It is scheduled for a formal launch in September 2002.


World-recognized CANARIE is Canada's Internet Development Organization. CANARIE is a not-for-profit corporation with primary funding from Industry Canada. It is dedicated to accelerating the development of Canada's Internet and the creation of innovative applications that exploit the power of that infrastructure to benefit Canadians. CANARIE plays the critical role of facilitator, bringing together experts from private industry, government, and the research and education community to form project partnerships. By encouraging innovation, CANARIE is building Canada's capacity to participate in the knowledge economy.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News and information are available at

Cisco Systems Canada Co. has offices across Canada dedicated to customer support, sales, and service. In addition, Cisco Systems has a significant research and development centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

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Click here to read the Industry Canada release.