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Breakthrough GÉANT network marks ten years of success

3 November 2010 | Cambridge, UK

High bandwidth pan-European research network continues advances with 100 Gbps plans

GÉANT, the high bandwidth pan-European research and education network, this week celebrates ten years of innovation and success.

Since its launch in November 2000, GÉANT has transformed European research by providing a dedicated high speed data network that enables researchers to collaborate on critical projects that benefit everyone. As part of its growth, GÉANT has successfully forged links to other international research networks across the world underpinning truly global collaboration in areas as diverse as biotechnology, particle physics, radio astronomy and weather prediction.

Researchers demand the ability to work together internationally and securely share massive amounts of data in real-time – however, the delivery of reliable, consistent performance on this scale is best served by an internet independent of commercial internet traffic. One of the world’s most advanced and highest capacity networks, GÉANT was created to provide the power and services to meet this ever increasing need.

“The power and scope of GÉANT ensure that Europe is the central hub for research and education, bringing together the brightest minds in the world,” said Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda. “GÉANT not only benefits Europe's competitiveness, but is also boosting collaboration between researchers on a global scale. Through GÉANT the European Commission is committed to enable worldwide research collaboration that tackles some of the biggest challenges that society faces and to get Every European Digital.”

Already the most advanced research network in the world, GÉANT today announced ambitious plans for the future, publishing a timeline to introduce 100 Gbps connections during 2012 to meet exponentially growing user demand. This will be the largest 100 Gbps research network in the world when fully deployed.

By linking together Europe’s national research networks through its own 50,000 km data network, GÉANT now brings together 40 million users across 40 European countries, plus another 45 million users, through interconnections with nine other regional networks. Built and operated by DANTE, the GÉANT network is at the heart of the project of the same name.

The benefits of GÉANT are comprehensive and far reaching. As well as the researchers who rely on GÉANT, the network supports the aims of the European Union, aids its citizens, helps communities around the world through projects such as disaster warning and telemedicine and drives innovation within the technology industry. Projects that rely on GÉANT include the Large Hadron Collider, typhoon prediction in the Philippines, collaboration between French and Tunisian doctors to treat epilepsy, and the ASTRA project that recreates the sounds of ancient instruments.

“The last ten years has seen GÉANT successfully build its infrastructure to become the largest and most advanced research network in the world, underpinning critical projects across the globe,” said Matthew Scott, General Manager, DANTE. “Making sure users have the power and tools to collaborate wherever they are located is at the heart of GÉANT’s mission. Research doesn’t stand still, hence our plans to introduce new 100 Gbps links, pioneering work on Future Internet technologies and advanced, accessible services that promise to make the next ten years equally innovative and beneficial to users.”

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