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Abstract -- Towards a European High-Speed Backbone Network and Application Engineering Track
N6: High Speed Wide Area Networks

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Towards a European High-Speed Backbone

Behringer, Michael ( M.H.Behringer@dante.org.uk)


Unlike in the USA, in Europe it is not possible yet to buy high-speed (i.e. 34 Mbit/s and above) international connectivity as a standard product from the PNOs. As about half of the Western European national research networks have already deployed high-speed backbones nationally, there is a growing demand for a backbone supporting line speeds of 34 Mbit/s and more on a European scale. This paper describes the requirements of the European R&E community for a high-speed backbone, as well as the plans for the development; it also explains the difficulties in getting such lines or services.

The first section of this paper outlines the technical issues. It first describes the requirements of the national research networks in Europe for a high-speed European infrastructure, as indicated in a survey carried out by DANTE in October 1994. The available technical options to implement the backbone are discussed and an overview of the proposed implementation strategy is given.

The second section covers non-technical issues in relation to the deployment of a high-speed backbone in Europe. The major problem there is the availability of high-speed lines from the PNOs in Europe, which, in most of the European countries, still have a monopoly position. To find a solution for these problems the EuroCAIRN project was initiated by the national governments. This paper gives also an overview about the EuroCAIRN project, its motivation, strategy and goals.