Negotiations with vendors begin this month for the development and construction of the Advanced Network for New Zealand.
Implementation manager Charles Jarvie says a few parties have responded to all the provisions of a recent request for proposal, to provide equipment, capacity linking and management services, and “a number of parties” have responded to individual parts of the RFP.
“The procurement process is just the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “We’ve got to set up a structure to operate the network, set up a management board, and decide on capital and ongoing funding.”
There are three external parties on the steering committee, which is being managed by the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology. They are Next Generation Internet, the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee and the Association of Crown Research Institutes’ committee.
The Advanced Network will provide high-speed connectivity to research and education users. New Zealand is well behind other countries, 40 of which have one or more advanced networks or national research and education networks.
The Government’s objectives for the network are to:
- Enable leading edge e-research.
- Facilitate universal connectivity throughout the New Zealand and international research and education community.
- Encourage broad participation in e-research by the research and education sector, through accessible technology and reasonable pricing.
- Connect the research and education sector to the broader innovation community for pre-commercial r&d-based collaboration.
- Facilitate participation by multiple telecommunications sector partners so as to ensure the greatest possible flexibility for on-going evolution.
The goal of the advanced network is to be able to deliver 100Mbit/s or more to the desktop of an individual researcher. To achieve this, the network will deliver at least 1Gbit/s to larger research institutions. Backbone speeds are expected to exceed 40Gbit/s within a few years.