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GN5-IC1 project officially starts, with objective to renew and extend GÉANT’s intercontinental connectivity

GÉANT Intercontinental Connectivity map - Dec 2022 - small no legend

GÉANT is delighted to announce the official start of GN5-IC1, the ambitious 36-month project that will plan and implement the first phase of a new intercontinental connectivity investment programme to further support the European Research and Education community.

Part of the new GN5 Framework Partnership Agreement in Horizon Europe (GN5-FPA), and sister project to the forthcoming GN5-1 project, GN5-IC1 aims to extend and secure the global reach of the GÉANT network by replacing and updating existing intercontinental connectivity infrastructure.

Supporting Global Research & Education Networking

Currently, approximately 25% of all research traffic carried on GÉANT’s European network either originates from or is destined for locations outside of Europe. Additionally, GÉANT’s intercontinental traffic is forecast to grow at a rate of approximately 35% per year for the next 7-10 years.

With big scientific projects such as the LHC and ITER generating ever more data and with the High Luminosity LHC and the SKA observatory due to come online in the next few years, it’s vital for GÉANT to consider new investments and to plan, procure and deliver capacity upgrades.

GN5-IC1 will ensure that this increasing need for global Research & Education Networking is met with strategic, long-term investments based on thorough market investigation and stakeholder consultation. A particular focus will be put on increasingly relevant topics such as European digital sovereignty, security, interoperability with other world regions, and on an intercontinental connectivity approach based on collaboration and reciprocity.

GN5-IC1 in action

Procurement and implementation work in the GN5-IC1 project will build on the successful experiences of the BELLA programme and of the GN4-3N project, responsible for the next generation GÉANT network.

In the coming period, priority for new intercontinental connection routes will be given to those world regions that are generating the most traffic and that require early action. In particular, a first phase of the project will focus on the renewal and upgrade of GÉANT’s connectivity to the Asia-Pacific region, with initial results expected during the first quarter of 2023. The project will then focus on upgrading connectivity towards North America, a region already accounting for 75% of GÉANT’s intercontinental traffic.

Finally, a fundamental part of GN5-IC1’s work will be to identify gaps in R&E connectivity and future intercontinental connectivity needs, and to establish long-term international capacity planning and investment in synergy with international partners, users, and other initiatives.

GÉANT GN5-IC1 Project Manager, Veronika Di Luna adds: “We are very excited about the start of GN5-IC1, which promises to deliver intercontinental connectivity for European R&E users at an unparalleled level. The project benefits from a highly experienced team, excited to contribute their skills and enthusiasm to the project, for the benefit of the European R&E community.”

About GN5-IC1

The GN5-IC1 project is co-funded by the European Union. The project is coordinated by GÉANT, and with oversight by the Network Infrastructure Advisory Committee (NIAC).


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