KU and City of Lawrence Partner on Fiber Redundancy
A new fiber pathway provides safeguards against a catastrophic internet outage for the University of Kansas, Lawrence Memorial Hospital and other local entities.
The University of Kansas has partnered with the city of Lawrence and KanREN to complete a redundant and diverse internet pathway to campus. This new pathway makes it less likely that an accident or deliberate act could disrupt internet access on the KU Lawrence campus. The shared pathway will also serve Lawrence Memorial Hospital and other entities in Douglas County.
"This partnership created a real win-win opportunity. Both the city and KU benefit from cost-sharing and achieving internet redundancy,” said Jim Wisdom, IT director for the city of Lawrence.
The KU Lawrence campus previously had two connections to KanREN, the internet service provider for KU and the city. While the dual connections provided redundancy, they did not provide diversity because the two key fiber optic cables are physically adjacent to each other. In 2016, internet access for most of campus was disrupted when both cables were cut by a construction contractor.
The new connection to KanREN is both redundant and diverse because it is located far from the existing fiber cables. The pathway builds on a 2014 fiber sharing agreement between the city and the university, and was completed with support from KanREN.
“Internet and network access is critical for students, faculty and staff,” said Mary Walsh, KU’s chief information officer. “This new redundant and diverse pathway will help ensure our campus customers have access to the online services and information they need to learn, teach and work.”