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GÉANT looks to the future with 100Gbps Capacity

3 November 2010 | Cambridge, UK

World’s fastest international research network plans upgraded connectivity to address coming data explosion

Researchers across Europe will benefit from even faster information exchange thanks to new high capacity network links announced today. GÉANT, the pan-European research and education network, will be upgraded to 100 Gbps capacity on key routes, providing users with even faster data sharing and enabling more effective collaboration on critical projects that benefit everyone. At 100 Gbps the entire contents of a dual-layer Blu-ray disc (typically used for feature-length movies) could be transmitted across the network in just four seconds.

GÉANT was launched this week 10 years ago, in November 2000. Built and operated by DANTE on behalf of Europe’s National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), GÉANT connects national networks together to provide a powerful combination of high bandwidth and advanced, user-focused services to Europe’s research community.

The major upgrade, which will increase speeds by up to a factor of ten, is in response to the rapidly growing capacity needs of European researchers. This is being driven by a combination of new projects, changing ways of working, and greater user numbers.

“Since its launch in 2000, GÉANT has transformed how research is carried out, driving and enabling collaboration across Europe and the entire world,” said Matthew Scott, General Manager, DANTE. “However, our forecasts predict that the combination of major new scientific experiments and innovative new ways of working together is creating an explosion of data for which we need to be ready. The new 100 Gbps connections build on our advanced hybrid network and will ensure that the 40 million researchers and students across our user communities can rely on the capacity and services they need now and in the future.”

In the next ten years major new projects including the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope and the ITER nuclear fusion experiment are projected to come on stream. These will join other major research projects, such as the Large Hadron Collider, in requiring high bandwidth, real-time connections to share the massive amounts of data they produce with scientists in Europe and around the world. Additionally, greater collaboration in areas such as genetics and climate change is driving a growing demand to access shared central databases of information across research disciplines, exponentially increasing network traffic.

The new 100 Gbps connections will light fibre on GÉANT’s existing 12,000 km of optical fibre links. Procurement for equipment to enable the 100 Gbps links will start early 2011 with implementation expected by mid 2012. The majority of connections on the GÉANT network currently have a minimum capacity of 10 Gbps, with busier routes using recently introduced 40 Gbps links.

GÉANT is the high speed European communication network dedicated to research and education. In combination with its NREN partners, GÉANT creates a secure, high speed research infrastructure that serves 40 million researchers in over 8,000 institutions across 40 European countries. Operating at speeds of up to 40 Gbps, GÉANT is the world’s largest and most advanced multi-gigabit network dedicated to research and education. Building on the success of its predecessors, GÉANT has been created around the needs of users, providing flexible, end to end services that transform the way that researchers collaborate. GÉANT is at the heart of global research networking through wide ranging connections with other world regions, underpinning vital projects that bridge the digital divide and benefit society as a whole.

Co-funded by the European Commission under the EU’s 7th Research and Development Framework Programme, GÉANT is the e-Infrastructure at the heart of the EU’s European Research Area and contributes to the development of emerging internet technologies. The project partners are 32 European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), TERENA and DANTE. GÉANT is operated by DANTE on behalf of Europe’s NRENs. For more information, visit

DANTE is a non-profit organisation, coordinator of large-scale projects co-funded by the European Commission, and working in partnership with European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) to plan, build and operate advanced networks for research and education. Established in 1993, DANTE has been fundamental to the success of pan-European research and education networking. DANTE has built and operates GÉANT, which provides the data communications infrastructure essential to the success of many research projects in Europe. DANTE is involved in worldwide initiatives to interconnect countries in the other regions to one another and to GÉANT. DANTE currently manages projects focussed on the Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific and central Asia regions through the EUMEDCONNECT, TEIN and CAREN projects respectively. For more information, visit