Plans for an advanced network for research institutes have taken a step forward with the issuing of a tender for project management services for the venture.
The network, called Arena (Advanced Research and Education Network for Aotearoa), is being planned by a steering committee involving the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, the Next Generation Internet NZ Society and other parties.
Its goal is to build a high speed network linking the country's research institutes, comparable with other such networks in Australia, the US and elsewhere.
According to tender documents, the project will proceed in four stages, with an initial project establishment being followed by a requirements assessment that will include issuing tenders for aspects of the project such as provision of PoPs (points of presence), international linking and network equipment.
Contracting with suppliers and project managing the implementation are the next two stages and the tender documents state "the area of greatest risk currently is ensuring ongoing flexibility of linking capacity supply while meeting timing expectations for the Advanced Network rollout."
Earlier this year, associate communications and IT minister David Cunliffe told Computerworld the minimum speed of any links would be 10Mbit/s and that the network would be optimised for short burst, high density traffic.
The government is discussing the proposed network with telecommunications carriers and potential users and the network will be funded from this year's budget, with users sharing in the costs, he said.