Network outpaces internet

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has launched a new research network which is up to 20,000 times faster and one million times the capacity of a typical home broadband connection.



The Broadband Optical Research, Education and Sciences Network (or BOREAS-Net), forms a loop of fibre optic cable between UW-Madison, Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Minnesota. It features two links to Internet2, at Chicago and Kansas City, Missouri. Any outage anywhere in the loop is essentially unnoticed as traffic is rerouted at the speed of light to the other access point.



BOREAS’ innovative use of this optical network enables its members to manage their own bandwidth and maintain a greater degree of flexibility in supporting research and education services. As programme needs change or new research programmes start, access can be enabled quickly and new paths, or lambdas, can be added without major cost.



Other benefits include peering, or trading access at no additional cost. For example, The University of Washington is establishing a dedicated optical network to Kansas City. Once in place, UW-Madison can trade access to Chicago to the University of Washington for access to the west coast without the need for further financial investments.