U.K. to build high-speed education and research network

MCI has been awarded a $51 million contract to build a new fiber backbone network that will link the United Kingdom's higher education facilities at speeds that will eventually reach 40 gigabits/sec, 20 times the rate of the country's current education and research network.

The Joint Academic Network (Janet) serves schools and research facilities throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The current 2 gigabit/sec backbone, known as SuperJanet, links a total of 19 regional networks.

However, the 20-year-old Janet is straining at the seams as network traffic is rapidly increasing, and the new fiber backbone, SuperJanet5, is intended to ensure that overall network capacity stays well ahead of demand for the foreseeable future.

MCI will build an initial 10 megabits/sec upgrade first and implement the 40 megabits/sec rates later, supporting a potential user base of 18 million users.

But the upgrade is not just about connectivity, said Tim Marshall, the chief executive of the U.K. Education and Research Network Association, which operates Janet.

It's “also about providing the infrastructure to help the U.K. stay at the forefront of global research and development," Marshall said.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity
    secure network (bluebay/Shutterstock.com)

    Federal CISO floats potential for new supply chain regs

    The federal government's top IT security chief and canvassed industry for feedback on how to shape new rules of the road for federal acquisition and procurement.

  • People
    DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, shown here at her Nov. 8, 2017, confirmation hearing. DHS Photo by Jetta Disco

    DHS chief Nielsen resigns

    Kirstjen Nielsen, the first Homeland Security secretary with a background in cybersecurity, is being replaced on an acting basis by the Customs and Border Protection chief. Her last day is April 10.

  • Management
    workflow (Urupong Phunkoed/Shutterstock.com)

    House Dems oppose White House reorg plan

    The White House's proposal to reorganize and shutter the Office of Personnel Management hit a major snag, with House Oversight Democrats opposing any funding of the plan.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.