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AARNet and Southern Cross Cable Network boost trans-Pacific research network to 100G

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AARNet and Southern Cross boost research network to dual 100G links. Sydney, Australia – Thursday 25 August, 2016 - Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet) and Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN), today announced the completion of the 100 Gigabit per second (Gbps) upgrade to the Southern Cross Trans-Pacific Optical Research Testbed (SXTransPORT) dual submarine optical fibre links connecting Sydney to North America.

The upgrade boosts bandwidth on both SXTransPORT links from 40 Gbps to 100 Gbps to accommodate the year-on-year growth of research and education traffic over the AARNet network. This traffic growth is driven by data-intensive science.

 AARNet CEO Chris Hancock says this network infrastructure linking Australia to the United States and the global network of research and education networks is fundamental to Australia’s research infrastructure, underpinning much of Australia’s research efforts and innovation agenda.

 “With research today increasingly collaborative, global and data-intensive, increasing the bandwidth of the SXTransPORT network ensures Australia continues to make significant contributions to global research endeavours, such as the Large Hadron Collider, the development of the Square Kilometre Array, the World Climate Research Program and important advances in the health and medical research sector,” he said.

 AARNet’s long-term partnership with Southern Cross, together with funding from the United States National Science Foundation to the University of Hawaii, the Commonwealth and other entities, has evolved into a truly Pacific activity, integrating the New Zealand research network, REANNZ, and connecting one of the world’s most important international astronomy sites, Mauna Kea (Hawaii Island), as well as the international observatories on Haleakala (Maui), operated by the University of Hawaii.

 The partnership has also secured broadband connectivity for several isolated Pacific Island countries, and notably for the University of the South Pacific campuses in Fiji, Tonga and the Marshall Islands. The South Pacific is a key region for observing climate changes, as well as oceanography, biodiversity and coral reef health. Connecting the Pacific Islands provides an opportunity to engage Pacific Islanders in a wide range of scientific and research initiatives in these fields of critical concern to their communities.

 University of Hawaii President and CEO, David Lassner, a driving force behind United States funding and the collaborative work to connect the Pacific Islands, says the 100G upgrade to the network is another great milestone for research and education in the Pacific region.

 “Working closely with colleagues at AARNet, Southern Cross and other collaborators, with the support of the National Science Foundation, has enabled Hawaii to participate in the continuing transformation of research and education through advanced broadband connectivity. Complex research that provides insights on the major challenges and opportunities the world faces must be increasingly interdisciplinary and international " he said “and advanced networks like SXTransPORT are fundamental infrastructure for large-scale collaboration and enablement of the cyberinfrastructure that supports essential big data techniques.”

 Since 2003, Southern Cross Cable Network has provided the SXTransPORT in partnership with AARNet exclusively for not-for-profit research and education use. This has opened up opportunities for global collaboration that were previously unavailable to institutions in the Pacific region.

 “Southern Cross is proud to be a long-term supporter of scientific and research endeavours through its partnership with AARNet. By extending the network to connect to REANNZ and Pacific Island Countries, the SXTransPORT project is an example of a truly exciting initiative in which all partners have worked together collaboratively to bring about great achievements for the region,” says Anthony Briscoe, President and CEO, Southern Cross Cable Network.



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