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Cisco Delivers 21st Century Network to The Canadian National Institute for the Blind


Network upgrade enables CNIB to reach millions of print- disabled Canadians with specialized services

TORONTO, Canada - June 1, 2005 - Cisco Systems Canada Co. has teamed up with The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) to significantly upgrade its communications and data network to improve the delivery of services to Canadians nationwide. Cisco has donated advanced networking technology and services over an 18-month period to overhaul and upgrade its aging network infrastructure, creating a vital, efficient and cost effective new communications platform for the CNIB.

Joint efforts by Cisco and NexInnovations, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, have established a cost-effective, dynamic network which allows CNIB volunteers and employees to communicate over a highly secure, virtual private network (VPN) nationwide. The new network is delivering savings of more than $70, 000 CDN annually by eliminating outsourced communication services.

“The Cisco technology has given us an unparalleled level of quality, support, reliability and cost savings,” says Vicki Mains, CNIB’s director of Information Services. “With the money that we now save combined with our new network capability, we are better able to provide high-end client services like The CNIB Digital Library. We are extremely fortunate to benefit from Cisco’s commitment to our community and we thank them.”

“It is gratifying to know that our contribution is having such an immediate and powerful impact on those who depend on the services of the CNIB,” said Terry Walsh, President, Cisco Systems Canada Co. “As network functionality evolves and the network becomes the strategic core of communications services delivery, it is important that organizations like the CNIB have the right technology and support to deliver their range of services. We are proud to be working with them.”

“The incredible programs and services delivered by the CNIB over their intranet required a safe, reliable infrastructure,” said Hubert Kelly, President and CEO of NexInnovations. “It’s been an honour to collaborate with Cisco to bring it to life. The CNIB project has been a fantastic way to apply new and advanced network technologies for unique communications applications and demonstrate the potential of a secure, integrated network for every organization.”
Upgrading CNIB’s network

The CNIB needed a dynamic and highly secure communications foundation to handle the traffic and applications support. The Cisco donation to The CNIB Centre on Bayview Avenue has provided the CNIB with much needed gigabyte connectivity. CNIB’s network supports over 400 users in the building in addition to over 1,000 staff and volunteers across the country.

At the centre of the network is a Cisco Catalyst 6500 series switch which acts as the hub for the network nationwide and for switches installed on every floor of the new facility. In addition, Cisco’s virtual private network (VPN) and Intrusion Detection System - part of the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy - have allowed the CNIB to link regional offices, remote workers and traveling ophthalmology service stations over a highly secure network.

The network upgrade has allowed the CNIB to offer more applications than in the past over the Internet, such as The CNIB Digital Library, which is available to three million print-disabled Canadians. In addition, the network can now support the services provided by a mobile medical eye care clinic and provide a reliable platform with industry-leading security for CNIB clientele to communicate over the Internet.
The need for specialized services

The CNIB Digital Library, located and hosted online by The CNIB Centre in Toronto offers both braille and audio materials at the click of a mouse or a keystroke. The new infrastructure supports multiple users across the country as they simultaneously download materials from the library over the secure VPN.

The CNIB also offers the service of a mobile eye care clinic. The “Eye Van” travels to remote communities in Northern Ontario where volunteer ophthalmologists carry out vision screening, treat eye conditions and perform minor surgery. The VPN provided by Cisco helps Eye Van staff to overcome obstacles of working in isolation by enabling them to access the CNIB network and online resources with a high level of security.

For more information on the services offered by CNIB, please visit

About Cisco Systems Canada

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, celebrates 20 years of commitment to technology innovation, industry leadership and corporate social responsibility. Cisco Systems Canada Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc., has offices across Canada dedicated to customer support, sales and service. In addition, Cisco has a significant research and development centre in Ottawa, Ontario. Information about Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, go to


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