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Jisc plans framework for Janet network evolution



Organisation begins procurement for access solutions to boost capabilities of the higher education and research broadband network

Higher education digital infrastructure provider Jisc is looking to increase the capabilities of the Janet network with the creation of an access solutions framework.

It has begun a procurement for the relevant facilities, equipment and services to support connectivity to the network over the next 5-10 years, aiming to provide universities and colleges with the high bandwidth needed for new services.

The framework will be worth up to £120 million, with three lots covering access connectivity, circuit terminating and aggregating equipment, and professional services. It is set to run for an initial five years with the options to extend for three then two.

The procurement raises the prospect of making bandwidths of up 100Gbps available to institutions using Janet, which provides broadband connections for research and education. It is one of the main services provided by Jisc, which operates as a membership organisation for the academic sector.

Jeremy Sharp, Janet infrastructure director, said: “This procurement is part of a planned evolution of the architecture of Janet and will underpin how Janet services are delivered to members and customers for the foreseeable future.”

Reliability and coherence

He said the aims include improving the reliability of the service, providing an architectural coherence across the network and speeding up the installation and upgrade of connections. Jisc also expects benefits in bringing down capital and current costs, cutting the requirements for procurement and engineering resources, and reducing the number of contracts and length of supply chains.

This should ultimately make it easier for organisations on the network to take advantage of cloud services.

“Jisc members, all UK universities and colleges, are increasingly consuming cloud based services and as such need Janet to be highly reliable and flexible,” Sharp said. “Our latest national backbone network (Janet6), which entered service in 2013 provides these features.

“In this context we now need to evolve our access network provisioning strategy to be in line with our backbone capability, to enable us to provision highly reliable bandwidth and services to universities and colleges in a responsive and flexible way, whilst controlling costs.”

Image: Rozszerzonej Gwiazdy, public domain

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