Switch Communications and Sparkplug Inc. Provide Bandwidth-Intensive Services to TeraGrid Conference in Las Vegas

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Demanding broadband requirements for supercomputing experts solved by partnership between world-class data center and leading fixed wireless provider.

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TeraGrid '08 brought together nearly 400 of the leading advanced computing scientists and technologists in the country to share results and plans for enabling open science research

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Switch Communications and Sparkplug Inc. today announced the successful delivery of integrated communication services for the recent TeraGrid’08 Conference in Las Vegas. Sparkplug provided a 100 Mbps wireless connection from The Riviera Hotel over Sparkplug’s high capacity carrier-grade network to Switch’s world-class datacenters in Las Vegas.

Switch Communications is a national leader in providing colocation, bandwidth and connectivity services for Fortune 1000 enterprises, mid-sized businesses and government customers. Sparkplug Inc. is the leading provider of fixed wireless broadband service in the Las Vegas Valley and several other major metropolitan regions in the United States.

Conference attendees expected the best possible bandwidth capacity to collaborate and communicate their work to fellow attendees. "TeraGrid '08 brought together nearly 400 of the leading advanced computing scientists and technologists in the country to share results and plans for enabling open science research,” said Jay Boisseau, TeraGrid '08 Chair and director of the Texas Advanced Computing Center at The University of Texas at Austin. “A large-scale meeting of supercomputing experts showcasing their results required network connectivity far beyond the normal conference crowd. We are enormously grateful for the contributions of Switch Communications and Sparkplug Inc. in providing outstanding bandwidth to the conference, ensuring it would be successful and productive."

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the TeraGrid is the leading cyberinfrastructure initiative in the United States, combining world-class resources at 11 partner institutions to create an integrated, persistent computational resource for the nation’s top scientists. The annual TeraGrid conference hosts leading researchers, developers, industry partners, and educators to showcase the capabilities, achievements, and impact of advanced computing technologies in research and education. TeraGrid members are involved with complex, demanding applications in open science research such as global climate change, water resource management, new energy sources, new materials and manufacturing processes, tissue and organ engineering, patient-specific medical therapies, and drug design.

A Communications Partnership like No Other
The Switch and Sparkplug partnership has developed steadily over the last several years, and is a prime example of the maturation of the communications industry in the Las Vegas Valley. Switch Communications is rapidly emerging as a national leader in the telecommunications and colocation industry and serves the most demanding customer segments with its massive Las Vegas datacenters. Sparkplug is the exclusive wireless provider partner for Switch in the region and the combination of the two organizations has created a powerful solution offering.

When Executive Director Joseph Lombardo from the National Supercomputing Center for Energy and the Environment at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) came to Switch looking for a solution for the Teragrid conference, Switch Chief Technology Officer Jeff Ames knew he could turn to Sparkplug to deliver a complete high-speed solution that could be installed within two to three days.

“We’ve worked with a variety of wireless providers,” Ames said. “Sparkplug has continually demonstrated its ability to outperform competitors. In our experience, Sparkplug delivers reliable wireless broadband service and connectivity solutions over a full range of capacities up to 1 Gbps, with a highly responsive local team of service and support professionals. That’s why we have partnered with Sparkplug as our exclusive wireless provider.”

Sparkplug’s Las Vegas operations are based on the 2007 acquisition of local broadband firm Verde Communications. Verde was founded and successfully grown by local entrepreneurs Ben Brimhall and Jason Mendenhall. This acquisition, along with the Switch partnership, has provided the extra resources and scale to accelerate Sparkplug’s local leadership in broadband communications.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with our partnership with Switch Communications,” said Jason Mendenhall, vice president of product and customer operations at Sparkplug. “Switch is a premier hosting and colocation provider and this longstanding relationship enables our two organizations to deliver complete high-capacity solutions for the largest enterprises and organizations. We look forward to building our business together.”

About Teragrid
The TeraGrid, sponsored by the National Science Foundation Office of Cyberinfrastructure, is a partnership of people, resources and services that enables discovery in U.S. science and engineering. Through coordinated policy, grid software, and high-performance network connections, the TeraGrid integrates a distributed set of high-capability computational, data-management and visualization resources to make research more productive. With Science Gateway collaborations and education programs, the TeraGrid also connects and broadens scientific communities. http://www.teragrid.org

About Switch Communications
Switch Communications Group owns NevadaNAP, data centers that represent a unique fiber nexus interconnection point accessing all of North America’s largest telecommunications providers. This advanced interexchange environment enables Switch to provide mission-critical collocation infrastructure and services to global customers. Switch’s new 407,000 square foot SuperNAP facility scheduled to open in Fall 2008 will be the highest density datacenter in the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.switchnap.com/.

About Sparkplug
Sparkplug is a leading fixed wireless broadband service provider currently operating networks across five states, including the metropolitan markets of Chicago, Nashville, Des Moines, Phoenix and Las Vegas. The company offers a suite of high-speed data, voice over IP, and other managed services over its own network to business, education, and government customers. All enjoy the benefits of fast, scalable and easy to deploy broadband service. Customers can choose from a complete range of symmetrical bandwidth service options starting at 2 Mbps with speeds up to 1 Gbps, at a fraction of the typical cost. The company also provides high capacity data services and transport to many of the nation's leading telecommunications providers. For more information, visit http://www.sparkplug.net.

Media contact:

Rob Goodman
McKenzie Worldwide
(503) 863-2004
robg @ mckenzieworldwide.com

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