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AARNet Cisco partnership achieves lightning speeds across Australia

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ASKAP antennas at the MRO

PERTH Australia, 2 October 2013 – Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet) and Cisco today announced the deployment of one of the world’s longest unregenerated high-performance optical networks.

Spanning approximately 3500 kilometres (km) from Adelaide to Perth and on to the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory (MRO) in remote Western Australia, the newly deployed terrestrial network is capable of transmission speeds of up to 8 Terabits per second (Tbps).

AARNet CEO Chris Hancock said, “Building a superfast unregenerated network across such a phenomenal distance puts Australia at the bleeding edge of networking and further bolsters our world standing in science and research.  This network is critical for supporting the higher education and research sector’s increasing demand for capacity to Asia.”

He says expanding the AARNet network across the Nullabor to the MRO site was also critical for enabling Australia’s participation in the data intensive Square Kilometre Array (SKA) global research project.

Brian Boyle, Australian/New Zealand SKA Director concurs. “The delivery of 100Gigabits per second connectivity to the MRO site reinforces Australia’s global leadership in the provision of research network capacity as well as the transformational impact of hosting the SKA,” he said.

The capacity of the network is scalable to 8Tbps over the 3500 km stretch of fibre from Adelaide to the MRO. The network is now in production at several hundred gigabits per second.

AARNet and Cisco worked together to deliver the project.  AARNet Infrastructure Development Manager John Nicholls said, “Cisco pushed the technology to the extreme to meet our desire for an unregenerated network from Adelaide to Perth. We kept pushing the boundaries – it’s jaw-dropping that we’ve got it working all the way to the MRO unregenerated.”

For Cisco, working with multiple types of optical fibre, including G.652, G.655 and G.652ULL added complexity to the challenge of vast distance. Cisco also solved the challenge using a mix of Raman and EDFA amplification along with coherent optical modulation techniques.

“Our longstanding industry partnership with AARNet continues to deliver cutting-edge outcomes with this production deployment of extremely high quality signal at 100 Gbps unregenerated between Adelaide and Perth being the latest achievement.  This success highlights the prominence of the innovative optical technology Cisco provides to global science and research initiatives like the MRO and SKA,” said Ken Boal, managing director of Cisco Australia and New Zealand.

Cisco offers the industry’s only end-to-end 100 Gbps solution that can span the core, network edge, data center and optical transport. The Cisco optical network solution is built on the latest innovations in high-speed optics, and lowers the cost per bit, while dramatically scaling network capacity.

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About AARNet Pty Ltd

AARNet Pty Ltd (APL) is the not for profit company that operates Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet). The shareholders are 38 Australian universities and the CSIRO.

AARNet provides high capacity Internet and other communications services for the nation’s research and education community, including universities, health and other research organisations, schools, vocational training providers and cultural institutions. AARNet serves over one million end users who access the network for teaching, learning and research.

For further information, please visit:

Media Contact:

AARNet Pty Ltd

Jane Gifford

mobile: 0458 700213


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