downtown spokane blog

August 04, 2005




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"Efforts are being made to ensure that the U District has the technological muscle to handle today’s high-tech research needs. One of those efforts is what’s known as the Virtual Possibilities Network, or VPnet, a high-speed computer network through which regional researchers, educators, and entrepreneurs at business incubators can share information. One of VPnet’s two hubs is located in the soon-to-be-opened SIRTI tech center [Located in the U-District], say Steve Trabun, VPnet president and customer business development manager for Avista Corp., which dedicated fiber optics and grants toward the creation of VPnet.

Trabun says all universities and colleges in the Spokane area, and some out of town, too, belong to the consortium, which among other things allows for live broadcasts of guest speakers at EWU, Whitworth, WSU-Spokane, North Idaho College, and others, as well as the capacity to save those programs digitally on a central server for later, on-demand use.

While VPnet can handle 155 megabits of information per second, another, much faster, fiber-optic communication network, called gigapop, also is slated to become available in the district. That connection should be in Spokane, most likely centered in the U District, by the end of 2006, and will have the capacity to handle up to 10,000 megabits of information a second, Trabun says. That connection, he asserts, will help the district attract researchers and scientists who need to move huge amounts of data as part of their work."
[Spokane Business Journal]

complete article: U-District Technology