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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
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An initiative started in 1989, under the Computer Board, with
the aim of developing of a national broadband network to
support UK higher education and research. The preparatory
work culminated in 1992 with the award of a contract worth 18M
pounds to British Telecom to provide networking services over
a four year period that extends to March 1997.
The BT contract will provide a national network with two
components: a high speed, configurable bandwidth network
serving up to 16 sites, initially using PDH to be replaced
with SDH, and a high speed switched data service (SMDS)
serving 50 or more sites. The primary role of the PDH/SDH
component will be to support the development and deployment of
an ATM network. These components will be complemented by
several high performance Metropolitan Area Networks each
serving several closely located sites. The aim is to provide,
within the first year of the project, a pervasive network
capable of supporting a large and diverse user community.
The network has two parts, an IP data network and an ATM
network, both operating at 34Mbit/s. Early in August 1993 the
pilot IP network was transferred to full service and was
configured to provide a trunk network for JIPS, the JANET IPService.
In November 1993 work was well advanced on the next phase
which aims to extend SuperJANET to a large number of sites.
The pilot four site ATM network will be extended to serve
twelve sites and will expand the scope of the video network.
The principal vehicle used for the expansion of the data
network will be the SMDS service provided by BT. Most of
the work associated with the development of this phase is
expected to be completed by the end of March 1994.