Smithville Fiber, Purdue collaborate to advance fiber connectivity at WestGate@Crane Technology Park

Smithville constructs ‘a network that is built for the future’ in the WestGate@Crane Technology Park

ODON, Ind. – Purdue has tapped Smithville Fiber to increase connectivity performance from its West Lafayette campus to the WestGate@Crane Technology Park by upgrading existing fiber services at WestGate using Smithville’s advanced core network.

This new network architecture provides multi protocol label switching to the customer edge supported by a 100-gigabit optical transport network. The Purdue Research Foundation manages WestGate Academy under the name Purdue@WestGate, and Smithville has been a partner providing high-speed internet connectivity to the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette since 2009.

“The importance of providing and maintaining fast, reliable and secure connectivity for businesses cannot be underscored enough,” said Greg Deason, senior vice president of the Purdue Research Foundation and director of innovation and entrepreneurship at the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Purdue University. “We are pleased to have an outstanding company like Smithville Fiber providing the same exceptional fiber services to Purdue@WestGate as they do to our Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette.”

Upgrades have already begun in the WestGate area and continue in other areas of the state. WestGate Academy and WestGate@Crane Technology Park tenants can access these advanced services.

“We have been pleased to be a part of WestGate@Crane Technology Park since its inception,” said Cullen McCarty, president of Smithville Fiber. “It is very gratifying to both be able to expand that service to our state-of-the-art gigabit-quality fiber network and to provide direct connectivity between the Purdue Research Park and WestGate@Crane Technology Park.”

The upgraded Smithville network is engineered to handle emerging technologies in the Internet of Things, streaming video and cloud data. On the data transport side, Smithville will implement a transmission core that is able to pass multiple 100-gigabit waves.

Thousands of people come to WestGate Academy throughout the year for various types of conferences, training and other events. The increased connectivity performance could help develop business and attract talent to the southwest Indiana region and the greater Purdue@WestGate community.

This spring, more than 2,000 school-age students will learn STEM skills at WestGate.

“The increased bandwidth will give these students access to learning without disruption,” said Tina Closser, NSWC Crane STEM coordinator and WestGate Academy tenant.

Smithville initially invested $250,000 in 2004 to provide “last mile” fiber connectivity to WestGate@Crane Technology Park, which was a requirement for tenants to move into the first facilities.
“Smithville was a ‘life-saver’ in those days, and we were and remain very appreciative of their willingness to make a high-risk commitment to punch in fiber in what was then essentially bean and corn fields,” said Ron Arnold, executive director of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation.

A principal early organizer of the park, Daviess County Economic Development Corporation was the first to construct a new technology facility in the now-$100 million park. The WestGate Academy is also located in the Daviess County section of the tri-county certified technology park. Other sections of the park are in northwest Martin and southeast Greene counties.

“We have created peering relationships in major data centers and with multiple upstream providers to speed traffic exchange between Internet Service Providers,” said Jason Dauby, chief technology officer for Smithville. “Operationally, our engineering team is located right here in the area we serve. The team that supports this network is the very same team involved in its design. All of this combined gives our customers in WestGate@Crane Technology Park access to an advanced, scalable, multi-gig network supported by an expert team that is intimately knowledgeable about its design. This truly is a Smithville network built for the future.”

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