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DCU first University to connect to new national high speed network

DCU first University to connect to new national high speed network

Minister Richard Bruton welcomes HEAnet roll-out of Ireland’s first national 100 gigabit-per-second network to serve the education and research sector.  Dublin City University is the first Irish university to connect to new high-speed network. #FutureofEdu

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. has welcomed the roll-out of HEAnet’s upgraded national education and research network, which will benefit students, teachers, researchers and support staff across the country.

The new HEAnet network delivers 100 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) capacity, making it capable of carrying ultra-high bandwidth traffic for Universities, Institutes of Technologies and other Higher Education Institutions across 216 locations in Ireland.  The €5 million e-infrastructure project is funded by the Department of Education and Skills through the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

Minister Bruton was shown how the new network is already being used for learning, collaboration and research on a visit to the Glasnevin campus of Dublin City University, which is the first University in the country to connect to the high-speed network.

Minister Bruton was met by Kerrie Power, the newly-appointed CEO of HEAnet, Professor Brian MacCraith, the President of DCU, Barbara McConalogue, Director of Information Systems Services at DCU and Darragh Richardson of Agile Networks in Dublin, HEAnet’s network integration partner on the project.

Speaking at DCU, Minister Bruton said,

“A digital revolution is taking place and we want to ensure that Ireland is well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities that arise by having high speed connectivity at all levels within our education system. This is a key aim outlined in the Action Plan for Education, which aims to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe within a decade. Through HEAnet, more than a million students along with nearly 89,000 teachers, researchers and support staff rely on high speed broadband connectivity every day for learning, collaboration and research. From speaking with students and staff during my visit to DCU, I can see how this new infrastructure is enabling the digital campuses of the future. I warmly welcome the roll-out of the new HEAnet network, coinciding with the start of the new academic year.”

Kerrie Power, CEO of HEAnet, said: “In future-proofing our National Education and Research Network, it is vital that we maintain investment in essential e-Infrastructure services and connectivity. Thanks to Ireland’s first national 100 gigabit-per-second resilient network, which is funded by the Department of Education and Skills through the HEA, we have a scalable infrastructure in place to meet the ever-increasing demands of Ireland’s thriving education and research sector.”

The President of DCU, Brian MacCraith said,

“This exciting collaboration with HEAnet and Agile Networks, coupled with a significant €8m IT infrastructure investment by DCU itself, is testament to our commitment to developing a 21st Century Digital Campus.  With the most modern IT network within the third-level sector and a 400 fold increase in our IT network capacity, we are transforming the teaching, learning and research landscape for all students and staff at DCU.  Our more than 17 000 students arriving on campus over the coming weeks will benefit from classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology to enable the latest teaching and learning innovations including lecture capture, remote streaming, and local and remote student engagement.”

HEAnet has invested €5 million over three years in this network upgrade project to connect 216 higher education and research locations across the 2,500 kilometre national fibre network.  In all, over 1 million students and nearly 89,000* researchers, teachers and support staff across primary, secondary and third level will ultimately benefit from the increased capacity of the network.

Dublin-based Agile Networks are providing network design, build and ongoing support services in a technology partnership with Juniper Networks. Agile Network’s Managing Director, Darragh Richardson said that the new network was a “game-changer” for Ireland’s education and research sector, saying: “With a 100 gigabit-per-second capacity, this means that it takes only one second to download 100,000 eBooks or 600,000 web pages and this is a game-changer for the way we learn, collaborate, innovate and research. Importantly, the new provisioning system will also drastically reduce the time it takes to connect other education bodies and new services to the network.”

Following the successful completion of a phased roll-out to the main urban campus locations, six of the seven Universities are now connected to the new network.  The upgrade project will now address remaining campus sites in regional locations with the national roll-out of the 216 locations due to conclude in early 2018.  

Further details about the 100 Gbps network are available on the HEAnet website at www.heanet.ie.

Details of DCU's digital transformation programme can be found here.


1st September, 2017
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