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OSU Open Source Lab

A Look Back at the OSL's Partnerships with Google and TDS

by Anonymous on Mon, Mar 06 2006

As the Open Source Lab celebrates a decade of open source hosting, development and education, the lab is reflecting on its past accomplishments. Below is a favorite from our archives.

OSL Teams with TDS for Bandwidth Increase

Originally published on March 06, 2006

The Open Source Lab at Oregon State University has received a large donation of Internet bandwidth from TDS Telecom that will allow it to more than double the number of visitors it can serve, in the future helping up to 50 million people a day review or download free software.

For a five-year period, the Open Source Lab will receive 600 megabits of bandwidth - a volume of Internet connectivity that is more than five times higher than the total used by the rest of the university. In addition, OSU servers will be hosted in a TDS Data Center.

“This gift from TDS Telecom really allows OSU to continue its integrated efforts in education, research, and outreach in the Open Source space. The increased bandwidth gives OSU strong reach into many of the communities it serves,” said Ed Ray, President of Oregon State University.

TDS Telecom is a major telephone and Internet services provider. Their donation of bandwidth to OSU will help TDS balance the volume of data they share back and forth with other networks, which is necessary for the smooth operation of the global Internet system.

OSU's Open Source Lab is a national leader in the exchange of open source software. OSU, for instance, is one of the main distributor's of Mozilla Firefox, a popular Web browser that is widely used around the world. Often without realizing it, people who download Mozilla Firefox to their computers are going through an OSU laboratory. The TDS donation will enable OSU to provide more highly demanded content. "TDS Telecom believes in the work we're doing with the open source software community, and they know this bandwidth will be put to a very good use,” said Scott Kveton, director of the Open Source Laboratory at OSU. "This will allow us to significantly expand our impact, visibility, and services.”

Unlike proprietary systems that are purchased from individual companies, open source software is generally free to anyone. Its code or blueprints are available to work with, improve, customize for individual needs, and pass along to the next user. This collaborative process often results in software of very high quality, and the concept is rapidly gaining interest in the consumer and business communities.

The new TDS donation, Kveton said, should allow the Open Source Lab to expand the software services it can host and provide freely to others. The laboratory is already actively working with the Pacific Northwest and national business community, helping to educate business leaders about the wide range of software available through open source - everything from word processing to spreadsheets, Web browsing and other needs. And one of the facility's best customers is the university itself, which has saved significant amounts of money by using open source software for more than half of its operations.