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NetOptiks and Rogers partner to bring Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic schools into the high-speed information age

    Award-winning fibre-coaxial hybrid network connects all 35 schools

    BRANTFORD, ON, June 26 /CNW/ - NetOptiks, a division of Brantford Hydro
Inc., and Rogers Cable Communications Inc. today announced the completion of
an innovative, award-winning solution using a fibre-coaxial hybrid network -
one of the first of its kind in Canada - that delivers high-speed Internet
access to all 35 schools in the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District
School Board.
    "This network means that we can provide high-speed Internet access in
every school, including the small Catholic elementary schools in rural areas,
which might not otherwise have the technology available to them," says
Theresa Harris, Director of Education at the Catholic school board. "We have
recently upgraded all of our school computers and students and staff are using
a number of web-based computer tools. The high-speed connection keeps up with
those technologies, which we were not able to do consistently before in all of
our schools."
    The customized network combines the facilities of NetOptiks' fibre
assets, the coaxial-ADSL facilities of Rogers to provide high-speed Internet
access and other IT applications to all of the board's schools. By using what
is known as Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), a standard in network
architecture, educators and students are now able to layer voice, video and
other applications on top of data, all over a single network.
    "The cost to run fibre to every single school in the system would have
run the School Board into the millions of dollars," says James Nagle, Director
of Business Development for NetOptiks. "By leveraging our network with Rogers,
we are able to connect all the schools in the system and bring significant
value to the Board. This is one of the reasons why the Brantford - Brant
Chamber of Commerce recently recognized us with the Technology Award for this
network at their 2007 Business Excellence Awards."
    By linking their fibre and cable assets, the Rogers/NetOptiks network is
one of the first of its kind in Canada. The two organizations' combined
infrastructures allow for more reliability and speed for customers, especially
those in more remote locations.
    "Rogers has always been about innovation and by joining with NetOptiks we
have introduced a unique way to deliver high speed internet across a large,
less densely populated area," says Jim Detlor, Vice President and General
Manager, South Western Ontario for Rogers. "The school board can now tie
together 35 locations on one bill, one network and one point of contact as
well as receive 24/7 proactive system monitoring."
    What this means for the students at Notre Dame Catholic School in
Caledonia is an always-on connection with consistent high-speed access,
something they never had in the past.
    "The value of high speed Internet to a child's education in today's
information-rich society can never be understated," says Principal
Joe DiFrancesco. "The previous technology was unreliable and slow, which
affected email access and internet connections going down on a regular basis.
Now, our students are no longer frustrated with long loading times when doing
their research and they regularly email their projects to their teachers.
Research once again becomes exciting!"

    About NetOptiks
    NetOptiks, the fibre division of Brantford Hydro Inc., is dedicated to
providing the most up-to-date, affordable, high-speed, high bandwidth
telecommunications services to businesses, institutions and community
organizations in Southwestern Ontario. NetOptiks owns and operates a standards
based optical network that can supply voice video and data services to match
any customer need. NetOptiks is a one-source provider that can grow with your
organization as we've been in the Utility business for nearly a century. We
understand the need to service our customers 24hrs a day 7 days week.

    About Rogers
    Rogers Cable Communications Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI; NYSE: RCI), a diversified Canadian
communications and media company. Rogers Cable's advanced digital two-way
network passes approximately 3.5 million homes in Ontario, New Brunswick and
Newfoundland, with 65% basic penetration of its homes passed. Rogers Cable
pioneered high-speed Internet access and now 38% of homes passed by its cable
networks are Internet customers while 59% of its basic cable customers
subscribe to Rogers' high-speed Internet service. With 53% digital
penetration, Rogers Cable offers a leading selection of High Definition TV
programming, a complete array of Rogers On Demand services (including Video on
Demand (VOD), Subscription VOD, Personal Video Recorders and Timeshifting
channels), and an extensive line-up of sports and multicultural programming.
Rogers Cable now offers home telephone service (voice-over-cable) to
approximately 90% of its cable territory and, combined with its circuit
switched telephony subscribers, has over 770,000 local telephony customers.
Rogers Cable is a national provider of voice communications services, data
networking, and broadband Internet connectivity to small, medium and large
businesses. In addition, it operates approximately 450 Rogers Retail stores.
For additional information on Rogers please visit

    About the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board
    The board provides Catholic education to approximately 10,500 students in
32 elementary schools and 3 secondary schools in an area that covers Brantford
and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.