Super-Speedy Data Delivery

LambdaRail increases speed, capacity and security for Northwest Florida universities, hospitals and research centers



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In the world of computer communication, conventional broadband Internet is what most of us use or have access to on a regular basis. For the most part, its speed and capacity are adequate to conduct business both at work and at home. But what if you need to move millions of files all at once with lightning speed and high security? That’s where LambdaRail comes into play.

LambdaRail is powerful stuff. It’s high-tech broadband that can transmit the data equivalent of 80 million text-filled file cabinets daily. It can simultaneously download an e-book for every one of Florida’s 2.7 million grade-school kids in about two minutes. It outsmarts smartphone data transmission by 50,000 times. If it were a highway, it would be 32 lanes wide and the regular Internet would be a two-lane road.

Wow, that sounds great, you say. Hook me up, you say. There’s just one catch. LambdaRail isn’t your typical information superhighway. Nor is it available to your average Internet user. LambdaRail is for big-league data movers, crunchers and shakers: universities, high-tech research centers and medical centers.

Florida LambdaRail, or FLR for short, was established in 2004 and is a consortium of public and private universities needing a mega-capacity, ultra-reliable and high-speed data network able to handle the unique transmission needs of research communities. LambdaRail doesn’t sell commercial service. It’s a public-private partnership that works solely in the nonprofit sector. If you want to be on the network, you have to show the organization that your institution has a nonprofit mission. FLR is owned and operated on behalf of 12 Florida research institutions, including Florida State University in Tallahassee and the University of West Florida in Pensacola.

LambdaRail is powerful stuff. It’s high-tech broadband that can transmit the data equivalent of 80 million text-filled file cabinets daily. It can simultaneously download an e-book for every one of Florida’s 2.7 million grade-school kids in about two minutes. It outsmarts smartphone data transmission by 50,000 times. If it were a highway, it would be 32 lanes wide and the regular Internet would be a two-lane road.

There are also “affiliates” that have access to FLR through their association with the main equity partners. In Northwest Florida, these include Bay District Schools, the Escambia County School District, Florida A&M University, Gulf Coast State College, Pensacola State College and Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.

In Bay County, economic development leaders are taking steps to ensure that the entire county is “looped” by the network. The Bay County Economic Development Alliance is working diligently on this project through the Bay Tech Initiative, according to Scarlett Phaneuf, vice president of the alliance.

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