A High Speed Network for European Researchers
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More than 3000 research and educational institutions from 32 countries are connected through GÉANT, a European high-speed network co-funded by the European Commission. Last year, GÉANT reached a maximum speed of 10 Gigabytes, so it is currently be considered the fastest research network in the world, providing the highest capacity and offering the greatest geographic coverage of any network of its kind.
In october 2002, a team of 3 research institutions (DANTE among them) succeeded in transferring a single stream of data at an average rate of 483 megabits per second over a distance of 2.518 kilometres of network from Slovenia to Spain in 11,73 seconds using the IPv6 protocol. The data was transferred from Ljubljana (Slovenia) to Madrid (Spain) via Vienna (Austria), Geneva (Switzerland) and Milan (Italy). This experience confirms the extraordinary capability of GEANT network.
The GÉANT network interconnects Europe’s National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) via a central core running at 10 Gb/s. GÉANT contributes highly in creating a situation where researchers and students living and working in different countries have access to comparable networking services in order to pursue their research and/or studies.
Although GÉANT already represents an enormous step forward, and more progress can be expected while it operates, the situation is not yet ideal, as the SERENATE strategic proposal describes. As this document points out, the uneven availability and price structure of the transport infrastructure, where the price of "comparable" transmission capacity varies by a factor of at least 1000 between the most and least competitive countries, would seem to mean that Europe will still not yet be able to offer, at least in the first years of GÉANT, comparable networking services for researchers in all of the EU member states and accession states.