400G facilitates Ohio’s economic growth and research leadership

400G is a critical step in Ohio’s plan for economic growth, academic leadership, and research prowess. With digital services transforming public and private sectors, OARnet migrated to 400G to provide affordable, plentiful connectivity to higher education, K-12 schools, healthcare, libraries, public broadcasting stations, and state and local governments.

Juniper’s 400G approach simplified the move, allowing OARnet to scale its network while preserving its capital investment and expertise. OARnet is one of the first networks to connect at 400G to the faster Internet2.


Company OARnet
Industry Education
Products used MX960MX480MX240
Region Americas
OARnet Image
Customer Success At-a-glance


Connection to next-generation Internet2


Statewide network connecting 625 K-12 school sites, 469 higher education sites, 102 healthcare facilities, 13 research sites, 27 public broadcast sites, and 2,900 state and local government sites 


Of OARnet member colleges and universities will have at least a 10-Gbps connection to campus by the end of 2022

$1.2 billion

In research and development funding at Ohio State 


Propel Ohio’s knowledge economy through technology

OARnet is a division of the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH). It’s focused on increasing access to affordable broadband, reducing technology costs for its customers, and maximizing shared services. OARnet has been serving the state’s research and education community since 1987.

“OARnet strives to ensure Ohio’s role as a technology leader,” says Pankaj Shah, executive director of OARnet. “By teaming with our anchor institutions and communities, OARnet facilitates innovation as a competitive edge in Ohio’s economic development and prominence in research and development.”

The plans for 400G were already in the works when the pandemic first spread, shining a light on the importance of readily available high-speed connectivity in education, healthcare, and government services. 

OARnet Challenge

A smooth migration to 400G

“The upgrade to 400G gives us plenty of headroom for growth,” says Mark Fullmer, CTO of OARnet.

400G allows OARnet to deliver networking at scale, while preserving its capital investment and engineering and operations expertise in Juniper networking. OARnet outfitted its Juniper MX960 and MX240 Universal Routing Platforms with new Juniper MPC-10 line cards. Scaling up the statewide backbone allows OARnet to efficiently meet customer demand for 100-Gbps and 10-Gbps services.

“We can serve more high-density connections in the same physical space,” says Fullmer. “Maintaining a 400G infrastructure has less operational overhead than managing aggregated 100-GbE interfaces.”

The OARnet engineering team worked with a Juniper Resident Engineer on the transition. “It has been nice to have someone who can hit the ground running on a massive project,” says Fullmer. “The Juniper RE augmented our staff very well.”

OARnet Solution

Advancing research and narrowing the digital divide

“OARnet was on the vanguard of implementing 100-Gbps connectivity, and we’re an early adopter of 400G,” says Shah.

400G allows OARnet to meet its clients’ growing need for cloud computing, network services, and disaster recovery, as well as to support the transformation to the new hybrid environment for learning, remote work, and telehealth.

One example is The Ohio State University, a powerhouse in research making key advances in biological, biomedical, and agriculture sciences as well as cybersecurity. Researchers can collaborate and manipulate massive data sets with a 400G connection to Internet2 and around the world.

OARnet is working to increase broadband speeds at 41 of the state’s colleges and universities and double the number of Internet subscriptions at all 87 member institutions. “All of our higher education members will have at least 10-Gbps last-mile capacity by the end of 2022,” says Shah.

Plentiful capacity is key as OARnet partners with BroadbandOhio, a public-private initiative that seeks to put an end to the digital divide by bringing affordable, high-speed broadband to underserved communities. OARnet is also foundational to InnovateOhio, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s initiative to improve the quality of government services. 

OARnet Outcome
Pankaj Shah, Executive Director, OARnet
“During the last two years, OARnet has experienced significant demand for its network. Educational institutions face a growing need for cloud services and connectivity. In addition, Ohio has seen an increase in the number of researchers actively pursuing new projects and collaborations, especially in the very topical areas of healthcare and cybersecurity.”
Pankaj Shah Executive Director, OARnet

Published April 2022