UK Joins Euro Testbed
LONDON -- A new multi-million pound initiative will ensure that Britain can retain its position as a world leader in research. HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) is investing £6.5 million in an initiative known as UKLight, which will put the UK on the global optical networking stage.
UKLight is an international collaboration between JISC and SURFnet, based in the Netherlands. The UK will join several other leading networks creating an international experimental testbed for optical networking. These include StarLight in the USA, SURFnet in the Netherlands (NETHERLIGHT), CANARIE (Canadian academic network), CERN in Geneva, and NorthernLIGHT bringing the Nordic countries onboard.
UKLight will connect JANET*, the UK’s research and education network, to the testbed and also provide access for UK researchers to the Internet2 facilities in the US via the StarLight initiative. The management of the programme will be provided by UKERNA (the UK Education and Research Networking Association), who manage JANET on behalf of the JISC.
Recent worldwide advances in networking technology are enabling a transition to the next generation optical network that will make available ultra-high bandwidth to its users. These developments will radically transform the landscape of the information economy and present new facilities and opportunities to both the network research and development communities and to those responsible for service provision and delivery. Researchers whose work relies upon fast and efficient computer networks will be able to stay at the forefront of their research, particularly in areas such as particle physics, radio astronomy, and high-performance computing.
Professor Peter Clarke, Particle Physics Research Group, University College London comments that "UKLIGHT is excellent for the UK. We now have a real opportunity to be at the forefront of developing new ways of networking needed to meet the requirements of education and research in the next decade. UKLight will enable e-Science applications in a way we have only dreamed of up until now. This news heralds a new era of International network research collaboration based upon this global testbed".
Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)