Next month, OSHEAN will celebrate its 15th anniversary. While my tenure here has been a short one so far, I have a natural interest in using milestones like this as an opportunity for reflection. To that end, I located the original founding document for OSHEAN, emblazoned with the title, “OSHEAN Consortium Agreement for Telecommunications/Network Services”.
This agreement was signed on August 20, 1999. The original parties involved with the agreement included the Commissioner for Higher Ed, Brown University, URI and RINET (K12s and Library Network). While these were the official signatories, the document goes on to say that contributors to the planning and overall effort included CCRI, RIC, RIDE, RI State Department of Administration, the Naval Underwater Warfare Center and the RI EDC.
What I found most interesting in reviewing the document was how true to the original mission our efforts have stayed. It states that “OSHEAN will be the catalyst for the creation of a telecommunication infrastructure that will meet the needs of RI for the 21st century.” I’m proud to say we and our member organizations have achieved this ambitious objective and find new ways to do so on a daily basis. The following are three of the original objectives:
Improve the state’s information infrastructure by creating an aggregation point where networks in use today can share resources and gain access to high performance networks;
Provide greater access to a wide range of information services in the areas of health care, education, training, government and economic development;
Reduce the cost of government services by utilizing advanced telecommunication and information technologies to increase productivity and efficiency of operations.
500+ fiber miles and more than 125 Community Anchor Institutions later, I am certainly impressed with the results – and extremely proud that our state and the founding members had the vision for OSHEAN that they did.
Anniversaries are a time to celebrate achievements and look to the future, and we will have more to say on this subject in August. I welcome our members to join us in celebrating this milestone, and as far as the future is concerned, I’ll leave you with this simple thought: We are not done!