Europe to connect with America at 100 Gbps

Pioneers invite the commercial sector to advance global networks

Six of the world’s leading networks last week announced their intent to build the world’s first 100 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) intercontinental transmission links for research and education.

Leaders from Internet2 (USA), NORDUnet, (Nordic countries), ESnet (U.S. Department of Energy), SURFnet (Netherlands), CANARIE (Canada), and GÉANT (Europe) made the announcement at the 2013 Internet2 Annual Meeting before 800 technology, education and research leaders. The domestic national network CESNET will be involved in the project as part of the GÉANT infrastructure.

These pioneers will create a public-private partnership with the commercial sector, such as equipment vendors and carriers active in the North Atlantic, to advance global networks for research and education.

National research and education networks (NRENs) and their constituencies from around the world are invited to participate in the project, titled the “Advanced North Atlantic 100G Pilot” or ANA-100G. The goal is to stimulate the market for 100 Gbps intercontinental networking and to advance global networks and applications to benefit research and education.

In the past year, many NRENs around the world have upgraded to 100 Gbps transmission speeds. But until now, intercontinental network links have not followed suit. ANA-100G will accelerate discovery in data-intensive science disciplines such as high-energy physics, radio astronomy and genomics, as well as spur development of revolutionary new networking applications and architectures.

Today’s announcement comes more than 10 years after the world’s advanced research and education networks upgraded to 10G technology. In September 2002, the world’s first 10 Gbps link between New York City and Amsterdam was put into production for the iGrid2002 Conference held in Amsterdam.

The six leaders will test the new transmission links, applications, resources, monitoring techniques and advanced technologies such as software-defined networking, between as many as four open exchange points, including MAN LAN in New York City and NetherLight in Amsterdam. These efforts will help determine the operational requirements needed to effectively run 100 Gbps wavelengths between North America and Europe.

Executive quotes:

Internet2 President and CEO H. David Lambert said, “The world’s leading NRENs continue to push the envelope on advanced networking, in their ongoing mission to support research and education worldwide. I am happy that these partners and forward-looking organizations are willing to work together to explore the boundaries of what is technically possible and make a difference in research and education for today and many years to come.”

NORDUnet CEO René Buch stated, “Our users want high-performance networks that can support their applications in a seamless way. This first 100G connection between North America and Europe will show that NRENs continue to push the envelope and innovate in close collaboration with strong partners from industry.”

ESnet Director Greg Bell said, “We believe scientific progress should be completely unconstrained by network capacity or geography—by the location of instruments, data or people. This exciting pilot project is an important step in making that vision a reality, especially for research collaborations that span the Atlantic. We look forward to using the new link to test innovative applications, architectures and workflows.”

SURFnet CEO Erwin Bleumink commented, “In an ever changing world, with increasing global collaboration in science, but also in education and business, and serious challenges on the economic front, we need to work together and collaborate on a global scale. This collaboration is a pathfinder for bigger and stronger collaborations in the NREN space to support our most demanding users and contributes to the Netherlands’ ambition to become the digital gateway to Europe.”

CANARIE CEO Jim Roche stated, “This project illustrates how the NREN community works together today to advance leading-edge infrastructure that supports tomorrow’s research discoveries, innovative educational models and digital processes, and technologies that may become part of our daily lives in the future.”

DANTE Joint General Managers Matthew Scott and Niels Hersoug added on behalf of GÉANT, “We welcome this opportunity to collaborate in trialing 100 Gbps capacity across the Atlantic and support our NREN partners and their users. As research and education collaboration becomes increasingly global the huge increases in transatlantic data transport requirements mean that it is not sustainable operationally to continue at multiple 10Gbps connections. It is imperative that research and education networks work together—and quickly—to push the envelope of networking technology and deliver economies of scale as well as seamless global connectivity.”

For more information about these global leaders, visit their websites: Internet2; NORDUnet; ESnet; SURFnet; CANARIE; GÉANT

The CESNET Association was founded by Czech universities and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in 1996. It is engaged in research and development in information and communication technologies and builds and develops the CESNET national e-infrastructure for research and education. With its research activities and accomplishments, CESNET represents the Czech Republic in international projects, most notably the pan-European GÉANT network building project and grid projects (, and participates actively in their implementation. Among other things, the association deals with the use of high-speed networks for sharing multimedia data both through synchronous video conferencing and shared applications and asynchronous streaming.

Press Release, May 2, 2013

Last change: 28.5.2013