Education network trial starts on KAREN

The trial will allow REANNZ to test the proposed architecture, says the Ministry of Education

A pilot is about to get under way trialling a project known as the National Education Network. It will use KAREN — the Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network.

KAREN operator REANNZ (Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand) has been engaged by the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission to run the trial.

The participants are schools, independent tertiary providers, wananga, aggregators to connect schools, and content and service partners.

A spokesman for the ministry says the trial will allow REANNZ to test the proposed architecture to provide a future direction for the education sector.

The trial runs from this month until December.

REANNZ chief executive Donald Clark says a variety of technologies — such as wireless, fibre and copper delivery — will be tested at participating schools.

REANNZ was set up in 2005 as a Crown-owned company to own and operate an advanced research and education network for the country. It currently has 30 members operating from 65 sites.

Clark says that in June the network handled 180 terabytes of data. “The case has been proved for the presumed demand,” he says.

“Members are undertaking research and education activities that were not possible before Karen was operating.”

Examples include:

• New Zealand has now become a global centre for lightning research and surveying

• A major international sheep genome project, involving Australia and the US, is being run out of New Zealand

• A joint course in seafood studies is being run primarily on KAREN

• More than 300 staff and students interested in Maori research collaborate, across the country, in weekly video-

conferencing sessions using KAREN

• The investment case for one member to purchase a super computer was enabled by two other members who committed to use it via KAREN.

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