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Formation 2000
Purpose/focus Research Network
Region served Europe
Website www.dante.net

GÉANT is the pan-European data network for the research and education community. It links national research and education networks (NRENs) across Europe, enabling collaboration on projects ranging from particle physics to medical research and the arts.

The project combines a high-bandwidth, high-capacity 50,000 km network with a growing range of services for users.[1] These allow researchers to work together, wherever they are located. Services include multi-domain monitoring (perfSONAR MDM),[2] dynamic circuits[3] and roaming via the eduroam service.[4]

Together with European NRENs, GÉANT connects 40 million users in over 8,000 institutions in 40 countries. Through links to research networks in other regions (such as Internet2 and ESnet in the USA, TEIN in Asia-Pacific[5] and RedCLARA in Latin America), GÉANT allows collaboration between researchers on over 60 NRENs outside of Europe.

Co-funded by the European Commission and Europe’s NRENs, the GÉANT network was built and is operated by DANTE. The project partners are 32 European NRENs, DANTE and TERENA; plus an additional four associate NRENs.


The GÉANT project began in November 2000, entered full production operation in December 2001 (fully replacing a network called TEN-155). Originally due to finish in October 2004, it was subsequently extended until April 2005. The second generation network, named GÉANT2, began in September 2004 and continued through 2009, growing the network to 30 national networks in 34 countries.[6]

The next GÉANT project (GN3) began on 1 April 2009 and was scheduled to run for four years. It was funded under the EC’s seventh research and development Research Framework Programme (often referred to as FP7). This contract between the project partners and the European Commission provides total funding from the EC of 93 million Euro for four years from 1 April 2009. Matching funding was provided by the NREN project partners connected to the network. Plans were announced in May 2012 to extend capacity within the network to support up to 2 terabits per second capacity across the 50,000 km backbone network.[7]


As well as providing the high-bandwidth links across Europe, the GÉANT network also acts as a testbed for new technology.

It was the first "hybrid" network deployed on an international scale, combining routed IP and switched infrastructure.[citation needed] This enables the network to offer general traffic alongside virtual "private" network paths for projects, such as the Large Hadron Collider, which have particular requirements involving dedicated bandwidth, security and flexibility.

GÉANT supported native IPv6 since 2002 and multicast IPv6 since 2004. It is involved in network research, in areas such as carrier class network technologies, photonic switching, federated network architectures and virtualisation.[8]

The GÉANT network comprises 25 points of presence (PoPs), 44 routes and 18 dark fibre routes. During 2012, a substantial network migration program began. The result offers users multiple 100 Gbit/s links, with the core network supporting 500 Gbit/s. In April 2013, plans were announced for the first 100 Gbit/s research link across the Atlantic Ocean.[9] The link became operational in June 2013.[10]


The GÉANT project is a collaboration between 34 project partners: 32 European NRENs, DANTE and TERENA; and four Associate NRENs.

The NREN project partners are:

Associate NRENs[edit]

Global links[edit]

GÉANT links to research networks in other world regions, including:

These links not only help international research collaboration but also aid with projects that deliver societal benefit, such as e-health, telemedicine and weather forecasting/disaster warning systems. Allowing researchers to work within their own countries also stems migration from less developed countries, helping bridge the digital divide.

Example projects[edit]

GÉANT is used by research communities, such as:

  • High-energy physics[18]
  • Bio-medical sciences[19]
  • Health[20]
  • Radio Astronomy[21]
  • Earth Observation and Early Warning[22]
  • Arts and culture[23]


External links[edit]