Clemson C-Light

Clemson's C-Light Network

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Clemson University has closed the cyber gap in South Carolina by joining the national high-speed research community through direct fiber connections between Clemson, Greenville, and Atlanta, providing direct access to the National LambdaRail, Internet2 and other national and international research networks.

This network, known as C-Light, was developed using private donations and gifted fiber with no burden to the taxpayers of South Carolina. This cooperative effort now provides Clemson researchers and faculty with leading-edge capabilities using direct fiber connectivity to high-capacity networks and resources that will enable research, academic and economic advancements and opportunities that were previously out of reach for Clemson and the Upstate. C-Light specifically provides faculty with the infrastructure they need to collaborate with colleagues and access resources nationally and internationally and ensures the capability to apply for major research grants from funding agencies like the National Science Foundation.

“Clemson’s capacity for data transmission has increased from the equivalent of a footpath in the forest to a 16-lane superhighway,” said Jim Bottum, chief information officer at Clemson. “In the past, Clemson was limited to “commodity” connectivity which prohibited us from participating in national initiatives like the TeraGrid and the National LambdaRail. In essence, we lacked the “toll” to get onto the national research superhighway; so, for Clemson to advance towards its goals, C-Light had to happen.”

The fiber network that connects Atlanta, Clemson, and Greenville to the Atlanta regional hub also includes Clemson’s campus in Greenville, the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research or CU-ICAR.  The optical network is lit from Greenville to Atlanta today, with a goal of lighting up the remainder of the fiber infrastructure into Charlotte, NC.

Because C-Light is a strategic alliance between Clemson University and Charter Business, the benefits of high-speed connectivity are not limited to the university. Industry and businesses that need this kind of connectivity will be attracted to Upstate South Carolina because through research collaborations with Clemson they will be able to gain access to the network, bringing significant economic growth potential to the Upstate.

C-Light will also provide an important building block for the South Carolina Light Rail, for which the state legislature appropriated one-time funding to acquire fiber to connect the three South Carolina research universities.

“The research and educational capabilities afforded by this initiative position Clemson University as the intellectual anchor of the Upstate,” said Dori Helms, Clemson’s vice president for academic affairs and provost.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Clemson, recognizes the research support for faculty and students provided by the connection.  C-Light enables our faculty to develop highly skilled and innovative graduates, who in turn will produce scientific achievements and technological advancements that will fuel economic development and investments in quality of life for all South Carolina residents.

One of the most innovative features of C-Light is the fact that Clemson connected to the national infrastructure without burdening the state budget. The fiber and equipment were donated and the entire venture is a cooperative effort between Clemson and Charter Business.

“Charter Business is proud to partner with Clemson University on deploying a Dense Wave Division Multiplexing system connecting Greenville to a significant point of presence in Atlanta,” said Jim McGann, vice president of Charter Business. “Through this strategic alliance, Charter Business will be able to enhance its robust network, streamline operations, and better deliver content to customers throughout the southeast.

“This partnership shows what can be achieved when public companies and higher education work together with common goals to promote area research and economic development,” McGann added.

Click here to view C-Light FAQ's

About Charter Communications and Charter Business

Charter Communications, Inc. is a leading broadband communications company and the third-largest publicly traded cable operator in the United States. Charter provides a full range of advanced broadband services, including Charter Digital video entertainment programming, Charter High-Speed Internet access, and Charter Telephone. Charter Business similarly provides scalable, tailored and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to business organizations, such as business-to-business Internet access, data networking, video and music entertainment services and business telephone. Charter's advertising sales and production services are sold under the Charter Media brand.

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