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Jisc signs Neos for North-West network


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Jisc has taken steps to replace its Janet North broadband network for higher education and research with a new dark fibre network for the North-West.

It has signed a contract with Neon Networks, to run for eight years, to deliver the new infrastructure with speeds of up to 100Gbps.

Deployment of the network will begin immediately and Jisc expects it to begin offering services to member institutions as early as the third quarter of 2022. 

Janet North is one of 18 regional networks connected to national backbone network from the not-for-profit edtech organisation for higher and further education. The deal is the latest step in a programme that began in 2018 to re-architect access in most regions of the UK for more flexible and resilient high speed connectivity.

The North-West is one of Jisc’s busiest regional centre, serving more than 150 sites across the region including universities in Manchester, Liverpool and Lancaster, research establishments such as Jodrell Bank and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council laboratory at Daresbury.

Hybrid and cloud

Jeremy Sharp, chief technology officer at Jisc, said: “The network will play a key role in the ongoing shift to the hybrid learning environment, as well as the greater dependence on cloud based resources that is being experienced across the higher education sector.

He added: “Importantly, as a publicly funded body, this agreement helps future proof our network, provides 5G backhaul capability for our members, and ensures we can deliver value for money not only to our member organisations, but also to those commercial customers that seek access to our services.”

In recent weeks Neos has announced the completion of its Project Edge programme, unbundling over 270 exchanges in key business areas across the UK and extending their national reach to 550 BT exchanges to extend availability of its nationwide fibre network.

It has also announced a programme to offer direct access to its network in key metropolitan centres the North-West. Jisc has been confirmed as its first customer to benefit from the Liverpool access network.

Image from iStock, Ilexx

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