10 Years of the GÉANT network (Page 1 of 4)

Celebrating 10 Years of the GÉANT Network

GÉANT, the high bandwidth pan-European network, has much to celebrate. From its inception on 1 November 2000, the network has played a key role over its first 10 years in transforming the way global researchers collaborate. Born out of the telecoms liberalisation of the late 1990s, GÉANT enables the best minds across Europe and the world to work together on ground-breaking research activities that were previously not possible or inefficient due to limited or unstable commercial networks. With fast evolving technology, services and capacity, GÉANT remains the most advanced research network in the world and is the cornerstone of the European Research Area (ERA) and the Digital Agenda for Europe.

Achievements Highlights of the GÉANT network

  • Innovative, hybrid network architecture delivering a flexible, robust service to NRENs users with choice of connectivity options spanning IP and point-to-point circuits.
  • Providing access for over 80% of users across the GÉANT Service Area to point-to-point circuits of up to 10 Gbps dedicated capacity.
  • Increasing the number of countries connected in Europe to 40 through its National Research and Education Network (NREN) partners.
  • Reaching nearly 85 million users worldwide including 40 million in Europe.
  • Extending its global reach to countries beyond Europe from just a handful to 50, through interconnections with other international networks.
  • Installing 50,000km of network infrastructure, including 12,000km of optical/dark fibre across Europe.
  • Total NREN partner access capacity to the network increased more than 800%, from 32 Gbps to 258 Gbps.
  • Data speeds of up to 10 Gbps with 40 Gbps piloted and 100 Gbps planned. 

A resource for European research
Over the last ten years, European research has been transformed by GÉANT’s capabilities. Built and operated by DANTE (www.dante.net), GÉANT provides a dedicated, high capacity, 50,000 km data network that brings together 40 million users in research institutions across 40 countries, underpinning critical projects that would previously have been impossible without its reach, capacity and reliability.

By connecting Europe’s NRENs – who in turn connect users across sectors such as biotechnology, medicine, radio astronomy and the arts – GÉANT brings researchers together, driving regional co-operation across the EU and strengthening European research as a whole.


Capacity and innovation
In the early days of GÉANT, average bandwidths were 155 Mbps but with the advent of the hybrid GEANT architecture in 2004, GÉANT became able to transmit data at speeds of up to 10 Gbps as standard. Even faster capacities of 40 Gbps have been successfully piloted across distances of up to 750km, and 100 Gbps connections are in planning.

Due to its innovation and capacity, GÉANT has acted as a testbed for new technology, putting the European technology industry at the centre of new innovations and standards such as those in optical networking, IPv6, secure global roaming and the Future Internet.




"The power and scope of GÉANT ensure that Europe is a central hub for research and education, bringing together the brightest minds in the world. GÉANT not only benefits Europe's competitiveness, but is also boosting collaboration between researchers on a global scale. Through GÉANT the European Commission is committed to enable worldwide research collaboration that tackles some of the biggest challenges that society faces and to get Every European Digital."

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda


See Also
2001 Network Topology map

2010 Network Topology map

 GÉANT Birthday Song (mp3)


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