Olympians go for gold over a fiber-optic net

Olympians go for gold over a fiber-optic net

Participants in the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City this month share the common goals of athletic excellence, national pride and world peace.

They're also sharing a 32,000-mile fiber-optic data network.

Built specifically for the Salt Lake Olympics, the Synchronous Optical Network is the largest private network in Utah.

It provides voice, video and data services to 70,000 people who are visiting Salt Lake City for the Winter Games, including athletes, judges, corporate sponsors and 10,000 members of the media, said Dave Busser, CIO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

The network was designed by SchlumbergerSema, a unit of Schlumberger Ltd. of New York, and installed by Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver. Sun Microsystems Inc. is supplying the Unix operating system. Gateway Inc. provided the games with 5,700 PCs.

According to a General Accounting Office report titled Olympic Games: Costs to Plan and Stage the Games in the United States, the 2002 Winter Games received about $343 million from the federal government.

About $185 million of these funds were for public safety and security projects. Utah agencies contributed about $150 million for the Games, and Salt Lake City added about $75 million. The rest of the $1.9 billion needed to plan and stage the event came from corporate sponsors.

The total IT budget for the Winter Olympics amounts to more than $300 million, Busser said.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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