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October 9, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

The European Community looks set to fund a pan-European multi-protocol backbone following a recent meeting of the RIPE sub-committee of the RACE Research into Advanced Communications for Europe project. RIPE, which was set up to investigate the possibility of running a network using the internetworking protocol, has proposed that the network, known as Ebone 92, should be support IP services and ISO connectionless pilot services. If the move is ratified by RACE, work on the project will start immediately, and is expected to be completed early in 1993. The network will be in a diamond-shape and have four main centres: Amsterdam, Geneva, Stockholm, Hamburg, and while the speed of the backbone has yet to be decided, it will probably be comparable to the new UK ‘Super-JANET’ Joint Academic NETwork which is planned to run at 140Mbps, augmenting the existing 2Mbps X25 network. Following an initiative by the National Science Foundation in the US, there will be two T-1 links across the Atlantic, although the locations of the European gateways has not been decided as yet. The UK is expected to link to Ebone via the University of Kent at Canterbury, although there will also be node in London at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, which has the largest IP network in the UK. The use of IP has been far heavier in the US than in Europe. It is widely used in the academic community and has gradually gained acceptance in the commercial world. Interest in IP has been growing in the UK and two or three major companies are shortly to announce their adoption of the technology for their corporate-wide networks. It is hoped that an IP Users Group will be set up shortly to tap into the growing interest in internetworking.

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