Super Network for UK Education unveiled

SuperJANET5, a world class ICT network for UK education and research operated and developed by UKERNA and supported by JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), has been launched recently.

Following a review of requirements amongst JANET's diverse 18 million user base, the newly enhanced network will not only fully accommodate the requirements of all research institutes, universities and further education but now will also meet the needs of the UK's primary and secondary schools.

For the first time there is a unifying resource for education and research across the UK, the importance of which is highlighted in the DfES e-strategy 'Harnessing Technology' (March 2005), that identifies this upgrade as a key milestone.

SuperJANET5 will deliver a highly robust and scalable UK-wide network that will stimulate and support the development of ever more innovative and cost-effective ways of enabling the creation and transfer of knowledge, and ensuring that opportunities for learning and progression are available to all.

Throughout the SuperJANET5 procurement process, UKERNA has kept at the heart of its thinking the key user requirements identified; reliability, scalability, separability, flexibility and vision.

The latest incarnation of JANET demonstrates its continued evolution into a full service network, offering not only infrastructure but also a growing range of value added features through middleware, applications, user training and education.

Tim Marshall, UKERNA CEO said, "The JANET network has become mission critical to a broad spectrum of stakeholders in UK research and education. It can be found at the very heart of a diverse array of activities, from delivering e-learning and videoconferencing facilities to school children, hosting pioneering remote surgery techniques, to supporting research into global warming and the very beginning of life itself. SuperJANET5 will ensure projects such as these, as well as many others, continue to benefit from a truly world-class communications network.

"The SuperJANET5 project has set the precedence for a successfully delivered national ICT project from procurement to implementation."

Phil Hope MP, minister for skills said "Digital technology is not just changing the way we learn but helping to drive up standards in the education system.

This Government is committed to helping teachers improve their skills and use of ICT where it can enhance their teaching and help bring lessons to life. The SuperJANET5 programme means that primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities can communicate and collaborate securely and reliably.

The video-conferencing and other technology under the programme will allow them to share learning and link into the UK's world-class higher education research facilities and other resources."