In the field stories

NRENs Supporting the global challenges of the novel coronavirus

National Research and Education (R&E) Networks (also known as NRENs) together provide critical communications infrastructure for universities and research institutes worldwide. This global network of interconnected networks is boosting international capacity where needed as part of the global rapid response to the recent novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

During the past few weeks, usage of international R&E networks to North Asia and other places around the world has grown significantly as universities turn to delivering more courses online for hundreds of thousands of international students impacted by the disease and associated travel restrictions.

R&E networks are moving to procure additional capacity on existing international links and server farms ahead of demand to ensure universities continue to have the bandwidth and services they need to meet the growing demand for video conferencing, remote learning and personal communications.

The networking infrastructure provided by the global network of R&E networks is not only supporting teaching and learning, but is also playing a key role in helping researchers worldwide participate in global collaborations undertaking new research around the rapidly evolving coronavirus COVID-19 disease.

Submitted by Jane Gifford

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