Archived Press Releases
|JISC Announces UKLight|
May 27, 2003
JISC Announces UKLight, a £6.5 million Major International Networking Initiative
A new multi-million pound initiative will ensure that Britain can retain its position as a world leader in research. HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) is investing £6.5 million in an initiative known as UKLight, which will put the UK on the global optical networking stage.
UKLight is an international collaboration between JISC and SURFnet, based in the Netherlands. The UK will join several other leading networks creating an international experimental testbed for optical networking. These include StarLight in the USA, SURFnet in the Netherlands (NETHERLIGHT), CANARIE (Canadian academic network), CERN in Geneva, and NorthernLIGHT bringing the Nordic countries onboard.
UKLight will connect JANET*, the UK’s research and education network, to the testbed and also provide access for UK researchers to the Internet2 facilities in the US via the StarLight initiative. The management of the programme will be provided by UKERNA (the UK Education and Research Networking Association), who manage JANET on behalf of the JISC.
Recent worldwide advances in networking technology are enabling a transition to the next generation optical network that will make available ultra-high bandwidth to its users. These developments will radically transform the landscape of the information economy and present new facilities and opportunities to both the network research and development communities and to those responsible for service provision and delivery. Researchers whose work relies upon fast and efficient computer networks will be able to stay at the forefront of their research, particularly in areas such as particle physics, radio astronomy, and high-performance computing.
Professor Peter Clarke, Particle Physics Research Group, University College London comments that “UKLight is excellent for the UK. We now have a real opportunity to be at the forefront of developing new ways of networking needed to meet the requirements of education and research in the next decade. UKLight will enable e-Science applications in a way we have only dreamed of up until now. This news heralds a new era of International network research collaboration based upon this global testbed”.
“UKLight will provide a leading-edge networking capability that is critical for supporting the emerging requirements of the computational sciences,” adds Steve Corbato, director of backbone network infrastructure for Internet2, the advanced networking organization led by U.S. universities. “The growing ensemble of optical networking initiatives in the U.K., the U.S., and elsewhere around the world will enable communities of researchers to collaborate on distributed experiments and simulations and to share results in ways that have not been possible to date.”
Advanced Technologies Group, UKERNA
Note to Editors:
The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) supports further and higher education by providing strategic guidance, advice and opportunities to use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to support teaching, learning, research and administration. JISC is funded by all the UK post-16 and higher education funding councils.
*JANET, the UK’s education and research network, currently connects over 700 organisations including all UK universities, colleges of higher and further education, research council establishments and other organisations that work in collaboration with this community, enabling the exchange of data and information between connected organisations. Several hundred thousand computers are currently connected and network access is available to all staff and students (subject to their organisations’ policies).
JANET is the network operated and developed by UKERNA under a Service Level Agreement from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the UK Higher and Further Education Funding Councils. JANET is connected to the equivalent academic networks in other countries and to many commercial networks in the UK and abroad forming part of the global internet. UKERNA and JANET are registered trademarks of the Higher Education Funding Councils for England, Scotland and Wales.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) distributes public money for teaching and research to universities and colleges. In doing so, it aims to promote high quality education and research, within a financially healthy sector. The Council also plays a key role in ensuring accountability and promoting good practice.