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July/August 2004 Printer friendly version EU Flag

GÉANT

Euro 93 million to upgrade European Research and
Education Internet

P ress Release - Brussels, 2 September 2004. 

A contract to upgrade Europe’s world-leading GÉANT communications network for research and education has been signed by the European Commission in Brussels. Upgrades will include high-performance services for the most demanding network users, giving researchers their own “wavelengths” across the continent; end-to-end connectivity, which will give scientists direct access to the advanced communication capabilities of GÉANT and Europe’s national research networks; and a mobility and roaming service that will enable scientists to stay connected to GÉANT wherever they are doing their research. GÉANT and its partners, the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), together provide the research communications backbone infrastructure for 34 countries in Europe. The European Commission’s contribution to this project, €93 million, is estimated at less than 50% of total expenditure. The remainder will be co-financed by the participating countries.

Providing scientists across the EU with a state-of-the-art communications architecture, delivering performance far superior to the services offered by today’s commercial Internet, enables the EU to increase its ability to innovate and compete – an ability that is in turn essential to its productivity and growth,
noted Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Olli Rehn.

Industry take-up of GÉANT’s current architecture and design is encouraging, and is paying dividends. From the first quarter of 2005, the upgraded GÉANT network infrastructure will further expand the supply of advanced communication technology services, and should prompt a further wave of information and communication technology innovation, leading to a more efficient and cost effective provision of internet services to citizens,
he added.

Commission funding for GÉANT under this contract, which runs until September 2008, comes from the EU Research and Development Framework Programme. GÉANT enables all researchers from Iceland to the Caucasus to pool their ideas, data and computing power to achieve results that they could never manage alone. For example, GÉANT supports advanced collaboration tools used by the aerospace industry and the European Space Agency (ESA). It has played an important part in stimulating take-up of Internet Protocol IPv6, which is bringing advanced Internet services into homes, businesses and even vehicles, and has even enabled astronomers to combine data from several radio telescopes, enabling them to view the early universe in exquisite detail.

The upgraded GÉANT network, co-ordinated by DANTE, will use a hybrid architecture that seamlessly combines the best technology from the worlds of telephony (switching) and the Internet (routing).

This will provide faster, more powerful services for the most demanding users, creating dedicated routes along predictable traffic paths. End-to-end connectivity will enable scientists to have their “own” virtual private networks. A new mobility and roaming service will allow scientists to stay connected to GÉANT, wherever they are working. For further information: http://www.geant.net .

B its & P ieces

T erena News Agency

PeaR - the News Agency of the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association (Terena) is now officially and publicly free. The link to the News Agency can be found at: www.terena.nl/ .

G erman IPv6 Summit slides available

The presentations from the German IPv6 Summit in Bonn (June 29 - 1 July) are available at: http://linda.ipv6.berkom.de/summit/Agenda/agenda.html

C all for Papers

Deadline for submission of papers for the SAINT2005 Workshop : IPv6 Deployment Status and Challenges is October 7, 20004.

Deadline for submission of papers for publication in IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications Wireless Overlay Networks Based on Mobile IPv6 has been extended by popular demand for another three months until Dec 1, 2004.

IST 2004 - Networking session. Calls for ideas

The IST conference is the annual "networking" event and showcase covering research and development in information society technologies (IST). It is organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the Dutch Presidency of the European Union and will take place in The Hague (Netherlands) from 15-17 November. Attendance is highly recommended for researchers and industrialists planning to propose projects for the IST priority within the EU sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. Networking sessions complement the conference and exhibition and contribute to one of the prime objectives of the European Commission's research policy : to encourage forward thinking collaborative initiatives that support the development of the European Research Area. A call for ideas for Networking sessions is now open and will remain open until shortly before the event.

In addition, further details on the conference programme and a parallel session on "IST Work Programme 2005-06 and Proposal Submission" have just been published on the conference website .

IP Telephony Cookbook

The IP Telephony Cookbook has been published as a TERENA Report and is available in printed form or in pdf form from the TERENA website .

For more information: http://www.terena.nl/news/2004/newsflash143.pdf .

EC

New Commission Team

P resident-designate Barroso unveils his team - Viviane Reding nominated as Commissioner for Information Society and Media

On Thursday 12 August, José Manuel Barroso, President-designate of the European Commission, announced the policy portfolios he has allocated to each member of his team. The decisions follow detailed consultations with each nominee Commissioner and aim to build a strong team-spirit.

The new Commission is solid and politically experienced. It brings together people from across the political spectrum and contains more women than ever before. All Commissioners will have strictly equal powers as Members of the College. Mr Barroso has introduced certain organisational adjustments with the express purpose of achieving key political priorities.

EC

Open consultation on future European policy to support research

T he European Commission has launched an open consultation on the future of European research policy. The consultation follows the publication of "Science and technology, the key to Europe’s future – Guidelines for future European Union policy to support research", in which the Commission proposes a major expansion of the future EU research budget and to focus support on six major objectives. The results of the consultation will be used by the Commission in preparing the proposal for the 7th Framework Programme. All interested individuals and organisations are encouraged to provide their views and comments on the Commission’s proposals through an online questionnaire. The questionnaire can be completed quickly and also be used to provide more detailed comments. The deadline for responses is 15 October 2004. The Commission would welcome views from the research community and users of research in all EU countries as well as third countries. The consultation is addressed in particular to public research institutes, universities, large companies, SMEs, research organisations, international organisations and associations, and all those involved in research policies. The deadline for responses is 15 October 2004.

GÉANT

Recent news from GÉANT

O n 24 August 2004 the last country in Europe – Byelorussia – became indirectly connected to GÉANT via a 34 Mbps link from Poznan in Poland to Minsk. This link was established within the Polish "Porta Optica" framework that seeks to connect the vast optical communications infrastructure available for the research community in Poland with its neighbours. Similar initiatives by other countries are in place to connect to Moldova and to the Ukraine. Consequently, GÉANT, via the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in each country, now serves the research communities of all countries in Europe.

On 1 September 2004 the new GÉANT contract for the further upgrade of the communications infrastructure became operational. This contract established between the European Commission, the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) and the entities established by the NRENs (DANTE and TERENA) for a total budget of about 200 Million Euro is the largest one in the IST Programme. In this contract the Russian research community, via the Joint Super computing Centre, became a full partner in European research networking activities.

The extended reach of the GÉANT infrastructure and of accompanying initiatives (like ALICE, EUMEDconnect, SEEREN, SPONGE/SILK and TEIN2) is depicted in the image. It is expected that GÉANT will keep its world leading position also in the framework of this new contract.

GEANT_reach
Click on image for larger view.

Also on 1 September 2004, the first links of the ALICE initiative, funded by the EuropeAid Cooperation Office, became active. ALICE aims at the provision of a research and education communications backbone infrastructure for the Latin American countries. A 622 Mbps link now connects the European backbone, GÉANT, with the Latina American backbone in Brazil. Another 155 Mbps link between Brazil and Chile has been activated as part of the ALICE core infrastructure with further links to Argentina, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela soon to follow.

Mobile

Commission blueprint for mobile broadband services

M obile broadband services: Commission tables blueprint for anytime, anywhere access, to boost growth in business and public services. Press Release - Brussels, 30 June 2004.

Accessing everything you need at head office from a computer in the field is fast becoming vital to the efficiency of both private enterprise and public services. A policy blueprint to ensure that data can be accessed anytime, anywhere across the EU, and that the EU retains its lead in this area, is set out in Mobile broadband services , a Commission Communication issued today. The challenges ahead include ensuring that services can be supplied seamlessly to a variety of devices, making the technologies and networks that carry them interoperable, and providing adequate intellectual property protection for services with high value-added content. These challenges call for targeted R&D, both on basic research and to accelerate technical innovation.

Mobile broadband services are an economic locomotive in their own right, but are also vital to sustain competitiveness throughout the economy. Building on Europe’s strength in the mobile communications sector, these new services will increase productivity by boosting labour efficiency in public services and business. Anywhere, any time availability will be essential to a European information economy where the mobility of people, goods and services is increasing. All stakeholders, including Member States, need to address these issues together, to ensure that Europe does not miss out on the benefits that mobile broadband services can bring,
said Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen.

The rapid growth in mobile communications has had an enormous economic and social impact, in Europe and globally. Penetration levels in Europe are over 80% and rising. However, we are now witnessing a paradigm shift as new mobile data services begin to come on stream.

The latest generation of mobile and wireless technologies will combine the benefits of high-speed broadband connections and high-volume data-carrying capacity with mobility. For example, mobile users will be able to shop and pay on-line and receive a whole range of audio-visual services such as music and video. The biggest benefits are likely to come from productivity gains. The ability to link the mobile workforce with company headquarters and exchange data at high speed will change working processes and improve organisational efficiency.

Key issues

R&D - the share of GDP that Europe spends on R&D lags well behind that of its main trading partners. An R&D strategic agenda that supports innovation, including basic research, is needed:

  • Interoperability - industry is asked to take urgent steps to improve the interoperability of mobile broadband services, so as to facilitate communication and the supply of services on different networks;
  • Value-added content – the regulatory framework for intellectual property rights should be implemented so as to foster the creation of high value-added content;
  • E-payments – prudential rules governing the use of “e-money”, where relevant to mobile payments, need to be applied in a proportionate and risk-sensitive manner;
  • Base stations and masts – action is required to address regulatory barriers to their establishment in some Member States;
  • Spectrum policy - a co-ordinated European approach towards availability and flexible usage is needed.
The Commission will continue to work with all stakeholders, including Member States, to progress the key policy issues identified in this Communication.

WSIS

Towards a global partnership in the information society:
Translating principles into actions

P ress Release - Brussels, 14 July 2004.

The European Commission’s view on how to translate principles agreed by UN Member States in Geneva in December 2003 into action to create a worldwide information society are set out in a Commission Communication issued today. This Communication outlines priorities and proposes actions for the second phase of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), which will flesh out a plan of action agreed in Geneva and is to culminate in a WSIS summit meeting in Tunis from 16 to 18 November 2005. Future WSIS work should focus on creating the right policy environment for information society technology applications to flourish, accelerating the take-up of proven applications, e.g. for e-government, e-health, and e-learning, and promoting research in this area. Unfinished work from Geneva on internet governance and financing measures to bridge the digital divide must also be completed.

The European Commission is committed to continuing the road-map set out by the World Summit on Information Society last year. We need to focus on bridging the digital divide and work to ensure access to the information society for all so that we have concrete deliverables at the next Summit in Tunis next year,
said Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Olli Rehn.

Work on the second phase of the WSIS should begin to deliver real benefits, in line with the Geneva Declaration of Principles for a global Information Society and Plan of Action approved in the first phase.

Following two earlier Commission communications on the WSIS – the first outlining the EU approach (IP/03/731) and the second assessing the results (IP/04/261) of the Geneva Summit, this one outlines concrete proposals for the second phase, in particular implementing the WSIS Plan of Action and following up two unresolved issues from the Geneva Summit: internet governance and financing measures to bridge the digital divide.

The EU has always advocated focusing on a limited number of priorities for tangible results to be achieved. In this Communication, the Commission therefore proposes that work to implement the Action Plan be organised around three main axes:

  • Create an enabling environment based on eStrategies at all appropriate levels and on pro-competitive legal and regulatory frameworks that encourage investment and innovation;
  • Concentrate on showing applications that work in the areas of eGovernment, eLearning, eHealth and eBusiness;
  • Pay special attention to the research dimension of the Information Society.
In addition, specific actions for Least Developed Countries need to be developed to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. The Commission recently approved an “ACP ICT Programme” as a first step towards implementing the “Joint Position on Information Society for Development” signed between the EU and the ACP countries at the Geneva Summit.

NREN

TERENA publishes results of study

TERENA has published a study of the funding, management and operations of research and education networks in Europe. The publication, written by Dr. John Martin of Cardiff University and TERENA Project Development Officer Baiba Kaskina, reports on the study that was carried out in the spring of 2004 as a complement to the information collected in the annual TERENA Compendium of National Research and Education Networks. The study was funded by the European Commission through the COM-REN project, an accompanying measure in the European Union's Fifth Framework Programme.

The objective of the focus study was to examine a selected number of features of research networks in Europe in more depth. In particular, the study was intended to look at the funding levels and trends in funding, analysed across the levels of the network hierarchy.

The first part of the study gives an overview of funding, management and operations of NRENs by network level.

The second part of the study looks at current trends, i.e., changes in all of the funding, management and operations factors that have occurred during the last year or are expected during the coming year.

The third part of the report is devoted to an inventory of multiple-domain issues, such as performance bottlenecks, security issues, and premium and end-to-end service.

Finally, two wider issues are discussed in the report. The first concerns bottlenecks that are due to the high cost of telecommunications. The second issue is related to bottlenecks that are the result of a charging policy where connected institutions pay a fee related to the bandwidth of their connection, which in some cases results in institutions being unable, or unwilling, to fund an adequate network for their researchers, teachers and students.

Printed copies of the report on the focus study may be obtained from the TERENA Secretariat, as long as stocks last.

The report has also be made available from the TERENA Compendium website: http://www.terena.nl/compendium/2004/focus_study.pdf

IST

News from IST Projects

Helping develop wireless Internet services
New architectural guidelines to assist programmers develop wireless Internet services for 3G devices such as PDAs, camera-phones, data terminals, etc and overcome difficulties such as reduced screen sizes, varying bandwidth, handling mobility etc. were demonstrated by project WISE.

New middleware platform for roaming mobile users
Middleware that integrates current telecom technologies such as UMTS and WLAN, with future facilities like ‘seamless roaming’, automatically recognising the IP terminal regardless of network or platform, is being demonstrated by the NOMAD project.

IPv6 deployment – target 2006
At the close of the IPv6 TF-SC project in May 2004, IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) has become an established reality around the world. Governments are stating their support for the new protocol, and more and more organisations are adopting it. So where next for IPv6?

Self-configuring multifunction mobile terminals
Software Defined Radios (SDRs) are mobile devices that can be reconfigured over the air. Users could download new services from network operators, and even have voice and email services provided by different networks. The SCOUT project has studied how SDRs will be regulated and marketed.

Food for Thought

For the Diary

July

EU

1 Netherlands to take presidency of the European Council

Security

2 Security Event: Trust and Confidence in a Fast and Mobile Environment Athens , Greece

Networks

2 - 7 18th Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) Meeting Cairns , Australia

IPv6

4 - 6 Global IPv6 Summit Korea 2004 Seoul, Korea

Photonics

12 - 16 OECC/COIN 2004 - 9th OptoElectronics and Communications Conference, 3rd International Conference on Optical Internet Yokohama , Japan
August

IPv6

17 - 20 Global IPv6 Summit in Brazil 2004 Sao Paulo , Brazil

IPv6

23 - 29 IPv6 Summit in Taiwan 2004 Taipei , Taiwan
September

Photonics

2 - 3 Translight Meeting and GLIF/Lambda Workshop 2004 Nottingham , UK

Photonics

5 - 9 30th European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) Stockholm , Sweden

Photonics

6 - 9 Photon04 Glasgow , UK

Telecoms

8 - 11 43rd European Telecommunications Congress Ghent , Belgium

Grid

15 - 17 European Grid Technology Days 2004 IST-FP6 Grid Projects Launch and Concertation Brussels , Belgium

IPv6

20 Presentation of results of study into IPv6 over satellite Noordwijk , Netherlands

Grid

20 - 23 Global Grid Forum - Grids Deployed in the Enterprise Brussels , Belgium

RIPE

20 - 24 RIPE 49 Meeting Manchester , UK

IPv6

23 - 24 UK IPv6 Summit 2004 Manchester , UK

Internet

29 - 1 Oct Fifth International Workshop on Quality of Future Internet Services (QofIS’04) Barcelona , Spain
October

Internet

1 First International Workshop on QoS Routing (WQoSR) - Smart Routing Barcelona , Spain

Internet

4 - 6 6NET IPv6 Network Management Tutorial Montpellier , France

Cyber-Law

11 - 15 IVth World Congress on Cyber-Law Cuzco , Peru

IPv6

11 - 15 5th ETSI IPv6 Plugtests Event Mandelieu , France
November

NREN

11 - 12 HEAnet's National Networking Conference - Advanced networking, services and applications Limerick , Ireland

IST 2004

15 - 17 IST 2004 The Hague , Netherlands

IPv6

16 - 18 Global IP Exchange Tokyo , Japan

eInfrastructures

18 eInfrastructures policy initiative workshop The Hague , Netherlands

EU

22 - 23 III LAC-EU Ministerial InfoSoc Forum Rio de Janeiro , Brasil

Grid

22 - 26 2nd EGEE Conference Edinburgh , UK

Networks

28 Globecom 2004 - GMPLS workshop Dallas , USA

Networks

29 - Dec 1 INTERWORKING - 2004: 7th International Symposium on Communications Interworking Ottowa , Canada
December
January 2005

EU

1 Luxembourg to take presidency of the European Council

Please note that the contents of this newsletter do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the European Commission, except where explicitly stated