First 40Gbit/s data transfer in European education

Janet, the network operator for UK education and research councils, has begun trials to become the first European educational network to transfer 40Gbit/s over a single channel operation at both the transmission and IP levels.

One of the characteristics of the Janet backbone is its ability to increase data transfer rates to meet growing traffic demand. A key strategy to allow this was the ability to use 40Gbit/s building blocks as traffic on individual links grow beyond 10Gbits.

The alternative to this would be to add additional parallel 10Gbit/s links, which is not cost effective, and introduces ‘complexity’ into the network.

A pre-production trial of the 40Gbit/s technology has been agreed with Verizon Business and Ciena at the transmission level, and Alcatel-Lucent and Juniper Networks at the IP level. This will begin in June 2007 and will take place on one of the busiest parts of the network, connecting the Canary Wharf and Kings Cross points of presence (POP) in London. Subject to successful completion of the trial, the 40Gbit/s channel technology will be deployed to carry production traffic where required. Based on traffic growth predictions, widespread deployment of 40Gbit/s channels across the JANET backbone is expected during 2008.

The development is a joint technology project using the expertise of various commercial partners. Verizon Business, who already deploys Alcatel-Lucent 40Gbit/s transmission technology in the US, will deploy the new 40Gbit/s capabilities of Ciena's Corestream­ Agility Optical Transport System across the JANET transmission infrastructure. As Ciena's platform enables in-service upgrades of granular 40Gbit/s wavelengths alongside 10Gbit/s wavelengths, JANET has the flexibility to upgrade and adapt the network for large bandwidth services as needed.

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