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.