JANET gets £2.7m fibre network funding

The UK’s education and research network has received £2.7 million to support the expansion of its Aurora fibre network.

JANET UK has announced it has been granted an additional 2.7 million of funding to expand one of the largest research test-beds in Europe.

The UK education and research network said the funding - from the government funded Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC ) for the UK Further and Higher Education Funding Councils - would extend the reach of its Aurora fibre network.

As one of the largest research test-beds in Europe, the Aurora network was developed in just under two years ago to interconnect the research groups at the universities of Cambridge, Essex and University College London (UCL).

The network enables the collective university research groups to pursue their research, away from the constraints of a production service network.

And this additional funding will enable the research groups at the Universities of Aston and Southampton to connect to the Aurora infrastructure and extend the enlarged network's operating period to April 2011.

Professor David Richardson, deputy director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at Southampton University, said a direct connection to the Aurora fibre network will allow the ORC to work much more closely with its academic partners around the UK.

He said the ORC would primarily use the network "to develop and properly trial the new components, subsystems and network concepts required to support future generations of the internet, and to explore the exciting new services that they will enable".

Richardson added: "Access to a fibre network will help keep both the ORC, and the UK, at the forefront of the field. The news is particularly timely as we move into a fantastic new facility housing state-of-the-art clean rooms and photonics laboratories that will be used to deliver technology to trial on Aurora. We look forward to the exciting times ahead."

JANET stated that it will be continue to work with ntl:Telewest Business to extend the infrastructure, adding fibre connections to the two additional sites by the end of April 2009.

It said a number of important national and European Union (EU) funded research projects are already taking place over the network. While the expanded Aurora network will also provide the opportunity for collaboration with JANET's centrally managed Lightpath service launched a year ago for large research projects.

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