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Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:15

Aussie and Kiwi researchers tighten the net

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A new agreement between research networks on both sides of the Tasman will see improved networking and increased digital cooperation between them.

AARNet (Australia’s Academic and Research Network) has announced a new trans-Tasman partnership with REANNZ (Research and Education Network New Zealand) and Southern Cross Cable Networks.

The partnership strengthens cooperation between the two academic and research networks and provides improved networking and international and Internet connectivity to New Zealand scientists and researchers.

AARNet CEO Chris Hancock says strengthening the relationship between the scientific research communities of the two countries will accelerate the research collaboration between them, and open up new opportunities for scientists and researchers.

“We’ve been working towards this partnership for some time now, and it’s a great example of international research and education network collaboration delivering the benefits of scale to support our region’s participation in global research initiatives,” said Hancock.

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The partnership means New Zealand scientists and researchers will, for the first time, have capacity for big data transport between New Zealand and the rest of the world, via the Southern Cross cable.

“This will allow New Zealand science and research to be at the leading edge of global research and have the same capabilities and be on par with their trans-Tasman peers,” said REANNZ CEO Steve Cotter.

“Our members now have the basic tools they have been lacking to submit proposals to conduct global research projects. The scope of projects that will benefit is exciting, including climate research, radio astronomy, participation in the international Square Kilometre Array project, medicine, genomics, National Science Challenges, and more.”

Southern Cross Cable Networks, through its sponsorship of the Australian Research and Education Community in Australia (SXTransPORT) has been providing high-speed international capacity between Australia and the US since 2003. Now upgraded to 40 Gbps, SXTransPORT will enable New Zealand researchers to access unique scientific instruments and to collaborate with their international counterparts at the same very high speeds.

Southern Cross CEO Anthony Briscoe said: “Southern Cross is delighted to now be able to connect New Zealand’s scientific and research community to its e SXTransPORT sponsorship and was looking forward to assured success in New Zealand, just as it has been in Australia.

AARNet is a not for profit company owned by 38 Australian universities and the CSIRO. It provides high capacity Internet and other communications services for the nation’s research and education community, with over one million end users.

REANNZ (Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand) is its Kiwi equivalent, a Government company that owns and operates the broadband network and associated services for New Zealand’s education and research and innovation communities. Members include universities, government research institutes, institutes of technology and polytechnics, including the Wananga Maori higher education institution.

Things are looking up for digitally deprived Kiwi scientists. REANNZ recently signed a deal to a foundation customers for the Hawaiki trans-Pacific cable linking New Zealand, Australia and the US (CommsWire, 4 July 2104), expected to be commissioned early 2016.

That deal will be funded by REANNZ and a NZ$15 million government grant.


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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