A new version of the high speed JANET network has been launched to support higher education and research institutions.
JANET6 can scale up to 8.8 Terabits of capacity using 100-Gigabit Ethernet. Its network architecture was in development for three years and its maker, the government-funded JANET organisation, expects that its fibre infrastructure backbone will last for at least 10 years.
The organisation says that the new network will offer "greater bandwidth, be more flexible and agile and is built with greater resilience and incorporates the next generation of optical equipment". As with JANET5, its primary use will be to support the research and education sector, allowing students and staff to connect free of charge.
The upgrade means that its users will be able to upload and transfer huge files much faster than on commercial networks because it's not held back by contention (congestion that slows down a network when multiple users are on it).
Tim Marshall, executive director responsible for Jisc technology and infrastructure including Janet and the Janet6 programme, said: "The needs of the research and education communities are constantly evolving and we are developing flexible network architecture able to respond not just to these but to future needs.
"Major developments in bio-medical research and climate science have been made possible over the lifetime of the current network, SuperJanet5. The power, capacity and flexibility of Janet6 will further stimulate and support the exploration that ensures the UK remains at the forefront of global innovation."