fSONA and BCNET Partner to Provide The University President's Council of British Columbia with Innovative Communications Technologies

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Victoria, BC and McLean, VA - November 1, 2005 - BCNET, building high-performance networks for research and education, announced today that The University President's Council of British Columbia (TUPC) has been connected to BCNET using fSONA's optical wireless communication devices - technology that uses infrared light to transmit digital signals through the air or free space - enabling TUPC to collaborate wirelessly and cost effectively with universities across British Columbia and around the world. Access to these high-bandwidth networks will provide TUPC with continuous and free global videoconferencing connections for improved productivity and cost-savings.

As the collective voice of universities in BC, TUPC staff are in constant touch with universities around the province as well as with system partners in BC, Canada and the US. “The fSONA optical wireless solution is a natural fit with the work of TUPC,” said Don Avison, President, The University President's Council of British Columbia. “We immediately recognized the potential of the fSONA high speed link to enhance our communications and to support our partnerships. On the first day that the fSONA link was operational to our office, we connected with one of the universities for a meeting. With just a couple of hours' notice for the meeting, we were very pleased with the simplicity, ease of use and performance of the fSONA technology.”

Unlike a traditional wired connection, the wireless connection provided by fSONA's SONAbeam™ technology does not require fiber installation, making it simple and easy-to-integrate into the urban business environment. Most importantly, the wireless link is not subject to licensing and regulation associated with other wireless technologies; therefore, the cost of deployment is extremely cost effective.

“fSONA's SONAbeam™ products are ideal for meeting the next-generation network requirements of today's higher learning and research institutes,” said Sunny Taylor, Chief Executive Officer for fSONA. “Deployed by a number of universities worldwide, SONAbeam™ technology provides high-speed optical wireless networking that is cost effective and extremely secure.”

Accessing BC's advanced research network, supported and promoted by BCNET for the extensive use of BC's higher education and research communities, will provide TUPC with a connection that is 10,000 times faster than the commercial Internet, equipping TUPC with always-on and free connections to university members throughout the province and contacts both nationally and internationally.

“We are very excited to partner with fSONA to enable TUPC with a high-bandwidth videoconference service over advanced networks. As an integral part of the higher education community in BC, we want to ensure that TUPC can benefit from the access to this high-speed, reliable and cost effective communication technology. In support of their mandate to provide system-wide leadership and to communicate on behalf of British Columbia's university system, this technology will greatly enhance productivity, collaboration and cost savings,” said Michael Hrybyk, President and CEO of BCNET.

Technology background
Free space optics (FSO) communications, also known as optical wireless, refers to the transmission of modulated visible or infrared beams for the purpose of wireless communications. Like fiber, FSO uses lasers to transmit data, but instead of enclosing the data stream in a glass fiber, it is transmitted through the air. fSONA's SONAbeam transmits invisible light beams, which because of their operating wavelength of 1550 nanometers are inherently eye-safe and secure. SONAbeam terminals are protocol transparent, layer 1 devices that implement FSO links for transport of high-speed protocols at full line-rate.

About fSONA
fSONA Systems is recognized as the preferred provider of optical wireless solutions for government, enterprise and service provider markets around the globe. Leveraging leading edge advancements in 1550nm optical transmission, the SONAbeam™ family of systems, based on free-space-optics (FSO), use a globally unlicensed, wireless technology to provide speeds up to 2.5 Gbps over distances up to 7km. For more information visit or

About TUPC
The University Presidents' Council of British Columbia (TUPC) represents the interests of the 6 public universities in British Columbia. Its mandate is to identify issues facing the universities, provide system wide leadership in the development of relevant public policy and communicate on behalf of the university system. TUPC also provides a coordinating forum for its member universities and acts as a provincial focal point for dealing with the Government of British Columbia and provincial or national bodies associated with universities. For more information visit

BCNET is a not-for-profit networking society formed to provide high-speed optical network capabilities - often called advanced networking - to British Columbia's higher education and research institutions. BCNET operates the province's first and only high-speed research and education network: the Optical Regional Advanced Network (ORAN). This network is a critical piece of the infrastructure that keeps British Columbia at the forefront of the international stage by linking provincial members to the nationwide and worldwide advanced Internet - supporting world-class projects in the areas of education, health, physics, the arts and science. For more information visit

Further Information
For more information about fSONA, SONAbeam or Free-Space Optical Wireless, please contact:

Nancy Mack
fSONA Systems
(703) 891-5274

Christine Massey
University Presidents' Council of British Columbia
(250) 480-4839

Tamara Klein
BCNET Networking Society
(604) 268-7865

fSONA and SONAbeam® are trademarks of fSONA Systems Corp. All other trademarks are properties of their respective companies.