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Italian research boosted: GARR gets subsea cable to Sardinia

Sparkle Bluemed seacable

The Italian research and education network is expanding its new optical infrastructure, GARR-T, thanks to the recent acquisition of a subsea link to Sardinia. This expansion is funded by the EU Recovery Fund project TeRABIT, whose aim is to complete a high-performance integrated computing and network infrastructure for the scientific community in Italy. This link uses industry-leading optical networking technology from Infinera deployed over a 1.8THz spectrum of Sparkle BlueMed submarine cable system.

The deployment of the Infinera technology solution (Infinera ICE6 800G GX), coupled with Sparkle submarine cable system, strengthens GARR’s high-performance optical backbone, thus facilitating collaboration between research institutions and universities at the national and international level. Moreover, once in production, the expansion to Sardinia will provide additional access for centres involved in the National Center for Research in High-Performance Computing, Big Data, and Quantum Computing (ICSC).

More connectivity for Sardinia and European science

The new Sardinia connectivity will be operational by 2025 and will offer not only rapid data transmission but also redundancy and reliability, thus benefiting the entire scientific community of the island. Moreover, this new network connection will support the candidature of the Sardinian Sos Enattos area to host the Einstein Telescope project, the European third-generation gravitational-wave detector, which will be 10 times more sensitive than the current ones.

A virtual fibre bridge

“Thanks to the open cable technology, which gives operators the possibility to freely manage a range of spectrum rather than single signals, this new virtual fibre bridge will create a seamless integration between GARR-T optical infrastructure in Italian mainland and the one in the Sardinia island. This acquisition is the first step of GARR-T expansion, which will be completed by 2025 and will provide up-to-400-Gbps connectivity all over the Italian territory”, says GARR CTO Massimo Carboni.

The new GARR-T network expansion will span 5,000 kilometers, cover 35 ROADM with 38 amplifier sites, and add 16Tbps capacity from day one.

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