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January 11, 2006

MCI to upgrade UK education and research network

As the UK's education and research network, JANET, experiences a rapidly increasing amount of traffic, the Joint Information Systems Committee has recognized the need for increased network capacity and awarded a GBP29 million contract to MCI to supply a next-generation computer network.

By CBR Staff Writer

The network, which links UK education and research, is expected to see an increase in network capacity from 10Gbit/s to 40Gbit/s.

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) says a new fiber network with nationwide coverage is needed to ensure that UK education and research can continue to reap the benefits of information and communications technology. The committee also confirmed its belief that the new fiber backbone will ensure that the supply of network capacity continues to remain well ahead of increases in demand for the foreseeable future.

According to the JISC, MCI will provide a state-of-the-art fiber optic network linking 19 regional networks across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales that will support a potential user base of up to 18 million users.

Tim Marshall, chief executive of the United Kingdom Education and Research Network Association (UKERNA), said, This upgrade is not just about connectivity, it is also about providing the infrastructure to help the UK stay at the forefront of global R&D. UKERNA decided to work with MCI on this critical project because we were greatly impressed by MCI’s technology and its ability to meet the diverse needs of our user base.

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