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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
11 January, 2021 - 12:09 By Tony Quested

Rapid Cambridge-Europe fibre freeway to boost HPC and AI

A new high speed fibre freeway is set to fast-track Cambridge connectivity with sister clusters across Europe and enhance collaborations in key technology areas such as high-performance computing and Artificial Intelligence.

The partners steering the initiative say the superfast connectivity will boost business generally and particularly benefit the academic, research and life science communities on both sides of the Channel.

The enhanced capability is being masterminded by a triple alliance involving Cambridge’s Light Blue Fibre, euNetworks and Kao Data – which has a world-leading hub just along the M11 in Harlow.

Their pathfinding blueprint provides a powerful new way for Cambridge businesses and research institutions to connect to key sites and communities across Europe.

Light Blue Fibre, launched as a joint venture by the University of Cambridge and Cambridgeshire County Council in 2019, is now being enabled by euNetworks, which specialises in data-centre-to-data-centre connectivity across the UK and Europe.

Light Blue Fibre delivers over 100km of ducting and wholesale dark fibre in the Cambridge metropolitan area. This network is in place to facilitate HPC within the education, research and life sciences communities. 

euNetworks will mastermind the operational and maintenance support necessary to provide both dark fibre and multi-Terabit high speed managed optical services across the Light Blue Fibre asset. 

These services will be available to all Light Blue Fibre-connected Cambridge campuses, organisations, wholesale internet service providers and partners from early 2021. 

euNetworks additionally offers direct fibre connection to Kao Data’s campus in Harlow and unique fibre-based routes onward to London, around the UK and across Europe. 

These new services enable direct, fast and latest generation connectivity to Cambridge’s science and research parks and pave the way for greater pan-European HPC and AI collaboration. The Kao Data campus has been built specifically for compute-intensive HPC and AI collaboration.

Professor Ian Leslie, chair of Light Blue Fibre, says: “This is a very exciting development. Light Blue Fibre is connected into many of the key campus locations in and around Cambridge, offering the ability for campus 5G with Edge computing to gain a new and diverse network for the city. 

“Collaboration with euNetworks and Kao Data will further serve the local community of university sites and campus locations, providing even more opportunities for wider connectivity.”

euNetworks’ CEO Brady Rafuse, adds: “Data centre connectivity is critically important to businesses today and our network development and new fibre system delivers vital infrastructure to support the many businesses and communities in Cambridge whose connectivity and collaboration requirements continue to grow. 

“Our pan-European network directly connects over 440 key data centres in our operating markets – that is, all the major data centres in Europe, as well as key research sites. 

“Our diverse and unique network routes to these locations, together with the solutions offered by Light Blue Fibre and Kao Data, offer a compelling connectivity response for those in the Cambridge community undertaking mission-critical computing.” 

• Light Blue Fibre, euNetworks and Kao Data will be holding a virtual event on February 24 from 10.30 am-noon to talk through these services, answer questions and delve deeper into the technical demands the Cambridge community will require in the coming months and years. To reserve a place, register at:- www.cambridgewireless.co.uk/events/new-full-fibre-network/

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