Géant Next Generation pan-European Research Network launched at IST 2000

Cambridge 06 November 2000At the IST 2000 event in Nice, Géant, the Next Generation of pan-European Research Network, was launched. This was officialised by the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner in charge of the Information Society, by Fernando Liello, Chairman of the Géant Consortium, and by a representative of Roger-Gérard Schwartzenberg, the French Minister of Research.


A four year contract of 80 million euro has been signed with the European Commission by a consortium of 30 National Research Networks to develop Géant. The research network will be implemented during 2001. Géant will operate at Gigabit speeds and interconnect the National Research Networks across Europe, as well as providing a platform for the interconnection with similar networks in other world regions.

Fernando Liello, Chairman of the Consortium, stated: "Géant is a great step forward for European Researchers. It will enable the European research community to exploit leading-edge telecommunications technology across Europe and provide a platform for the emergence of new applications, advanced services and further technological development. Géant will be by far the largest research network in the world, providing services up to 2.5 Gigabit/sec., an increase of nearly a factor 5 compared with the current network."

Géant will connect in excess of 3000 European institutions. It will be based on an operational core of 10 GBps circuits and be able to offer access at Gigabit speeds to the connected networks. In the course of 2001, the new network will supersede the current TEN-155 network. It will provide greater geographic coverage than TEN-155, with additional connections being built to Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and the Slovak Republic.

According to the representative of the French Minister of Research, the boost in network performance will be significant in only a couple of months, when Géant will be installed. "The new research network will allow to meet the giant challenges in European research within the areas of protein folding or particle physics, amongst other scientific projects, like for instance Datagrid."

Dante, the United Kingdom-based organisation, set up to build and manage advanced network services for the European research community, is the co-ordinating partner of the Géant consortium and will be responsible for the construction of the new network. For more details, you can check in at the Dante Web site. Please, also read the VMW September 2000 article European Commission funds GEANT 2.5 Gbit/s network with 80 million euro.

Leslie Versweyveld

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