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TypeNot-for-profit company limited by shares
Founded1986. Incorporated on 26 January 1989.
The Netherlands
Area served
The Netherlands
ServicesResearch networking
OwnerSURF Foundation

SURFnet is an organisation that develops, implements and maintains the national research and education network (NREN) of the Netherlands, and is also the name of the network it operates. SURFnet's executives have been founders of or occupied board positions in organisations including Ebone, CENTR, SIDN, AMS-IX, TERENA, DANTE, RIPE NCC, ISOC, IETF, IESG and IAB.[citation needed]

The company is a subsidiary of a not-for-profit foundation, SURF (Samenwerkende Universitaire Reken Faciliteiten; English: Co-operative University Computing Facilities).

SURFnet as a network is a backbone computer network reserved for higher education and research in the Netherlands. Staff and students of connected organizations can communicate through SURFnet with other internet users.[1]


The organisation was established in 1986, it started supplying IP connectivity services in 1989, deploying the TCP/IP suite.[2] SURFnet has deployed a series of network generations in an overbuilt manner. The initial SURFnet network was based on 9.6 kbit/s and 64 kbit/s X.25 connections, providing DECNET protocol. SURFnet2 was established in 1989 and delivered TCP/IP over an X.25 network. The SURFnet3 network delivered native TCP/IP via leased lines and became operational in 1991, mainly consisting of 64 kbit/s and 2 Mbit/s lines. In 1994 SURFnet4 was developed based on ATM and, later on SDH, links. SURFnet5 was developed from 1999 onwards on a 10 Gbit/s DWDM infrastructure, with access links of 100 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s.

SURFnet6, the sixth generation of the SURFnet network, was taken into operation at the beginning of 2006. This network provides the 750,000 users in higher education and research with Internet facilities, and also provides them with "lightpaths", which are direct connections between two network nodes without the need for routers. Lightpaths have a capacity of 1 to 10 Gbit/s.

SURFnet presently provides services on all network layers, including authentication services, such as eduroam and A-Select, and services for security, online collaboration and streaming media. The company collaborates with a number of organisations, both nationally and internationally, including the pan-European research network GÉANT (formerly DANTE and TERENA), Kennisnet and GLORIAD.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SURFnet Builds Advanced Research Network". GRIDtoday. 5 April 2004. Archived from the original on 22 April 2007.
  2. ^ "Kees Neggers: Global Networking Requires Global Collaboration | Internet Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2020-04-03.

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