RedIRIS deploys a link of 100 Gigabits per second in its new advanced communications network for Spanish researchers

This demonstration illustrates the possibilities of RedIRIS-NOVA, the new fibre optic network for universities and research centres

Since 1 November, Spanish scientists and universities have had a new, state-of-the-art communications infrastructure at their disposal.

This RedIRIS-NOVA is a fibre optic network for universities and research centres which will enable them to share information at speeds up to 10,000 times faster than that of domestic internet connections (RedIRIS-NOVA links will reach speeds of up to 100 Gbps, that is to say, 100,000 mbps, as compared to the 10 mbps normally offered by domestic internet connections).

These extremely high-capacity connections are essential for enabling Spanish researchers to take part in all national and international scientific projects requiring ultra-high speeds (e-science). In branches of science such as particle physics, astronomy, biotechnology, meteorology and seismology, research cannot be efficiently carried out without sending and receiving vast quantities of data between the scientific facilities and the centres which store and process the data.

Thanks to the new RedIRIS-NOVA fibre optic network, it is now possible to have available the ultra high-capacity connections needed to link up the centres taking part in these major projects in a flexible and economic way, thereby making it easier for scientists to share resources and collaborate with leading research groups in any part of Spain or the world, without the need to travel there in person.

Advanced fibre optic-based academic networks make it possible to deploy multiple 10 gbps connections, thus offering users a vastly greater capacity, with medium- and long-term costs which are far lower than those of previous network generations based on hired capacity models.

Just a few weeks after it came into operation, RedIRIS-NOVA has also gained a place as one of the foremost national academic networks deploying a 100 gbps link. This benchmark, which was made possible thanks to the collaboration of Telefónica and Alcatel-Lucent, was reached today at the 22nd Annual RedIRIS Conference, attended by around 400 experts in the new information and communications technologies from over 450 scientific and university centres connected to RedIRIS.

The 100 gbps link has been set up between the CIEMAT mode of the RedIRIS-NOVA in Madrid and the conference venue at the University of Valladolid, enabling ultra-high-speed connections between conference-goers and the other centres connected to RedIRIS.

The first day of the Technical Conference featured the presentation of the recently-launched RedIRIS-NOVA project, whereby long-term commercial user rights (21 years for the Spanish mainland, 30 years for the Canary Islands) have been acquired from commercial operators (Telefónica and Canalink) over a fibre optic network of 14,000 km, which includes underwater cables to provide service to the astronomy observatories located in the Canary Islands, as well as to other centres.

The management of this fibre, and the optical equipment necessary for its operation, is the responsibility of the RedIRIS technical management team, which thus continues with the advanced connectivity services it has been providing to the Spanish academic and scientific community since 1988.

The RedIRIS-NOVA project has a total budget of some €90 million, of which the Ministry of Science and Innovation has contributed around €55 million, through co-financing from the FEDER funds in the 2007-2013 Economic Operational Knowledge Programme allocated to the project by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade through the Office of the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and the Information Society. The project is implemented by, a public corporate body in charge of promoting the Internet in Spain, and whose responsibilities include RedIRIS operations management.


RedIRIS-NOVA is the high-capacity RedIRIS fibre optic network which connects Spanish universities and research centres with the regional and international academic networks belonging to the Global Research Intranet by means of ultra high-capacity connections. It is also worth highlighting the connection, also via fibre optics, with the pan-European research network GÉANT, which allows institutions affiliated to RedIRIS to access academic networks in Europe and on other continents.

This network infrastructure has been deployed within the framework of the RedIRIS-NOVA project, headed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, through the Office of the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and the Information Society (SETSI), and managed by the public corporate body, assigned to the SETSI, and whose functions include the operations management of RedIRIS. 

RedIRIS is the Spanish academic and research network that provides advanced communication services to the scientific community and national universities. It is funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and is included in the Ministry's map of Special Scientific and Technological Facilities. It is managed by the Public Corporate Entity, which reports to the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade.