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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 31 July 2013

The backbone for European science gets stronger: 100Gbps internet for individual researchers

GÉANT, the superfast pan-European research network that helped discover the Higgs Boson, announced today that it could reach speeds up to 2Tbps (terabits per second) thanks to a major network upgrade. From today, capacity of up to 500Gbps is available across the core network. This means individual users across 32,000 universities, higher education institutes, research institutes, schools, libraries, museums, national archives and hospitals can transfer data at speeds of up to 100Gbps.

Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, says: “We need high speed and high capacity to keep in the global research race. The data side of the research equation is almost as important as the research itself today. With this upgrade, GÉANT demonstrates it is the leader of the research network pack.

Speeds like this will enable faster collaboration on critical projects and meet the rapidly increasing demand for data transfer capacity. The creation and sharing of research data is increasing exponentially, impacting the ICT infrastructures in particular research networks. Major projects involving global partners generate massive amounts of data that need to be distributed, analysed, stored and accessed.

With today's high speeds the GÉANT network will provide the essential capacity to support all scientific disciplines: from high-energy physics and deep space research to those addressing societal challenges like ageing populations, disease diagnosis and climate change.

GÉANT's goal is to ensure 99.999 % availability through the rapid identification and resolution of network errors and powerful security features to detect and prevent malicious attacks.

The European Commission currently provides funding for the GÉANT network of € 41.8 million.


GÉANT is co-funded by the European Union (EU) and Europe’s National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), GÉANT seeks to promote the free movement of scientific data and knowledge, by connecting and empowering research and education (R&E) communities within Europe and other world regions.

2Tbps represents the maximum capacity of the system between two points of the backbone.

This new phase of the upgraded high speed network is known as GN3plus. The GÉANT network connects 38 NREN partners serving 43 countries, together reaching in excess of 50,000,000 end users from more than 10,000 universities, higher education institutes, research institutes, libraries, museums, national archives, hospitals, etc. and a further 22,000 primary and secondary schools. It is operated by DANTE (UK), which leads the project consortium of 41 partners.

With nearly all scientific disciplines now depending on ever-increasing volumes of data for their research (the “data deluge”), more sustained effort is needed to maintain and secure this position for the benefit of European society as a whole. Global scientific collaborations are created around new instruments (in the field of: physics, astronomy, biology, etc.), generating huge amounts of data to be accessed and analysed, and using computing facilities that may be based in other locations.

Today’s science, research and increasingly also education take place in global virtual environments. This requires GÉANT to offer to its connected communities not only extensive pan-European, but also global reach. GÉANT offers connectivity to 65 countries outside of Europe, reaching all continents through the TEIN (Asia Pacific and South Asia), EUMEDCONNECT (Mediterranean), RedCLARA (Latin America), CAREN (Central Asia), C@ribnet (Caribbean) and UbuntuNet (Southern and Eastern Africa) networks as well as the North American, Chinese and Japanese networks.

Useful links

Digital Agenda

Neelie Kroes

Follow Neelie on Twitter


GEANT website



Email: Tel: +32.229.56361 Twitter: @RyanHeathEU

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