40-times upgrade drives trans-Tasman science

Summary:A new ad-hoc fibre link lit up yesterday in Auckland to speed research data traffic between Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand's research network pipe to Australia has just grown a whole lot fatter.

A dark fibre ring between Auckland central and the Southern Cross trans-Pacific network's landing stations in Whenuapai and Takapuna was lit yesterday that will boost capacity from 1Gbit/s to 40 Gbit/s.

The REANNZ network

Steve Cotter, chief executive of Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ) said the new link allows New Zealand scientists to use some of the capacity Southern Cross provides to Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet).

REANNZ had to install some of its own gear, from Infinera, in what Cotter describes as a "bunker" near Southern Cross's facility to complete the project as it was not allowed access to the facility itself.

Layer 3 IP would be turned up on the network in the next couple of weeks, he said.

Cotter said the boost will help scientists across the country involved in international projects such as the Square Kilometer Array radio astronomy project.

Cotter, who served as Google’s network deployment manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and as the head of the US Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said there is a "really innovative spirit" in New Zealand and the country is small enough to get things done without a huge investment.

"It allows us to experiment and improve what we do and be faster to market than we could do in the US," he said.



Topics: Networking, Australia, New Zealand


Rob O'Neill is a writer for CBS Interactive based in Auckland, New Zealand covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet. He has previously worked for IDG, The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne's The Age as well as various business titles, most recently editing the Business Sunday section of New Zealand's weekly national news... Full Bio

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