Mrs. Edelgard Bulmahn, who is the German Federal Minister for Research and Education, has been given the honour to officially launch the new pan-European research network TEN-155. The ceremony took place in Essen, Germany, at the start conference of the Fifth Framework Programme, recently approved by the Council of Ministers of the European Union.
The German Minister was accompanied by Mr. Robert Verrue, the Director General of DGXIII, during her visit to the TEN-155 network stand at the exhibition in Essen. Mrs. Bulmahn and Mr. Verrue participated in a live video-session between the partners of the MECCANO Project. The MECCANO team constitutes the first user of the TEN-155 Managed Bandwidth Service. It is for the first time that a group of European researchers is able to benefit from dedicated bandwidth made available in the TEN-155 network.
MECCANO wants to use the Managed Bandwidth Service to create a Virtual Private Network between three project sites throughout Europe. The goal of the MECCANO initiative is to support collaborative research and technical development by means of the deployment of enhanced tools for multimedia collaboration in Europe. The project partners strive to implement as well as to improve the existing conferencing toolsets with a particular aim for use in distance education and in conferencing.
In her speech Mrs. Bulmahn emphasized the role of science as an important driving force and multiplier for the information society. After all, according to the Minister, didn't the Internet and the World Wide Web develop out of efforts to improve communication within the scientific community? "If the science community is to retain this pioneering role, it needs to be able to be ahead of the market", Mrs. Bulmahn continued.
In this way, the Minister firmly believes that the TEN-155 research network constitutes the perfect example of an innovative step, which prepares the ground for new applications, and above all new real-time applications, by offering guaranteed bandwidths all over Europe. Mrs. Buhlman specifically mentioned the scientists in Eastern European countries who have lived with limited communication and cooperation possibilities for years. At last, with the arrival of the TEN-155 network, these researchers will enjoy the benefit of participating through this medium in international scientific cooperation.
TEN-155 became operational on December 11th 1998. The network is able to supply access capacities of up to 155 Mbps to seventeen different European university networks. This turns TEN-155 into the largest operational pan-European network. More and more co-operative development activities in Europe are based on the use of multi-media services. These can only be effective if they can rely on a high Quality of Service, which not necessarily is provided in a "best effort" Internet Protocol (IP) network.
The TEN-155 Managed Bandwidth Service efficiently has addressed this issue by allowing the definition of Virtual Private Networks with committed bandwidth between national university networks. Please, find more details on the TEN-155 home page and in the VMW article: Pan-European research network TEN-155 thrown into top gear in the January 1999 issue.