New Zealand’s fastest communications network will be up and running by the end of the year, following the signing of a contract between Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ) and TelstraClear.
REANNZ Chairman Dr Jim Watson says the network will provide the country’s research and educational institutions with super-fast links to each other and peers in over 40 countries around the world.
“TelstraClear will install both the optical transmission network, which operates at 10 Gigabits per second, and the REANNZ routers and switches. TelstraClear subsidiary Sytec will provide first level help desk and network management services which will be backed by REANNZ and TelstarClear technical teams.”
“With this network researchers will have a powerful new tool to enhance their participation in leading-edge research with local and global partners. Education initiatives that utilise enhanced teaching and distance learning tools will also be much easier to implement,” Dr Watson says.
A NZ$43 million Government grant has been awarded for the establishment of the network over four years.
TelstraClear Chief Executive Dr Allan Freeth said that while the entire network build will be completed by the end of the year, certain parts of the network will be on line earlier to coincide with major research projects. One such project is participation by the School of Engineering at the University of Auckland in the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES). This collaboration of earthquake laboratories, funded by the US National Science Foundation, is working to improve the design techniques needed for better and more cost effective ways of mitigating seismic impacts on buildings, roading and other infrastructure.
By using the Advanced Research Network to transfer data, Auckland engineering researchers will be able to participate remotely in experiments being conducted in US and New Zealand earthquake engineering laboratories. The network will also let them archive data from their experiments and access computational resources on the NEES grid.
Organisations to be linked first to the network include the University of Auckland, University of Otago, Lincoln University, University of Canterbury, Massey University, Waikato Innovation Park, HortResearch, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Hawkes Bay Research Centre (HortResearch) and Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute).
The Advanced Research Network will have its dedicated 10Gbps wavelength on TelstraClear’s core optical backbone network, providing a separate network from TelstraClear’s commercial network.