“Celerity has been providing our organization and clients with fiber optic network design, construction, optimization and emergency maintenance services for over 8 years and they recently responded to a telecommunications infrastructure failure for one of our mission critical customers.  Their expedience and technical capabilities are beyond compare.  They truly value quality and customer satisfaction.” – Christopher Black, CIO, H. A. Services

What We've Done Connecting Campuses: Lehigh University

Connecting Campuses: Lehigh University

Lehigh University and their technical consultant, TeraNet, engaged Celerity to design and build a robust and redundant world class fiber optic network to connect the Goodman, Asa Packer and Mountain Top campuses in Bethlehem, PA.  The key characteristics of the network would include diverse pathway and high capacity 288 count fiber optic cable buried between the campuses to minimize the possible environmental factors of aerial plant.  While fiber runs existed between the campuses, network capacity was limited and aerial cable along densely wooded areas of the campus left the network prone to failure through environmental factors such as falling trees, rodent damage and traffic accidents.  Through a truly collaborative effort, Lehigh was able to significantly enhance the capacity of the network and insulate the network from future outages.    

The Challenge
The key challenges to the project were vast.  As the design network took shape, it became clear to Celerity that the most significant obstacle to overcome would also be one of the characteristics for which Lehigh is most renowned ---its aesthetically pleasing perch atop South Mountain in the Lehigh Valley.  The steep terrain and extremely rocky soil conditions of the campus would prove to be the largest variable in construction schedules and associated costs.  Fortunately, those obstacles would be overcome through the implementation of larger construction equipment and design changes that were quickly modified and executed in the field. 
Further challenges to the project would include limiting the impact of construction on student life and traffic about the campus. The safety of the students, faculty, staff and Celerity’s employees were of paramount importance. In order to lessen the effect upon student life and ensure the safety of all on campus, Celerity and Lehigh developed a working schedule and plan that limited portions of the construction activity to off hour and weekend work. 

The Challenge, Continued
Pedestrian and commuter traffic plans were devised and executed through the use of road closures, sidewalk closures and safety fence placement.  Furthermore, open excavated trenches and affected areas were restored or temporarily covered at the completion of each work day.  

The Outcome
At the end of the year long process, the project was successfully completed within schedule and on budget.  While the impact of the construction was a burden for all to endure, Celerity and Lehigh wish to thank the faculty, students, staff and everyone affected for their cooperation and understanding throughout the process.  We are ecstatic to report that no injuries, safety incidents or accidents occurred during the project.  The penultimate result of the project provided additional network capacity for Lehigh University to meet their Data X initiative to achieve increased network capacity for academics and research with the added insurance of redundancy to significantly limit the possibility of network outages.  

For more information about the project, view Lehigh's website.