XON announced this week that it has won the tender for the supply and implementation of Juniper Networks and other essential equipment necessary for IP routing, out-of-band equipment, traffic analysis software and other items for the East African UbuntuNet network.
The current project is funded by the AfricaConnect project and managed by Dante.
The AfricaConnect project, which is co-funded by the European Commission and African National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), aims “to establish a high-speed network connecting African research and education institutions with one another and to reinforce their existing connections to institutions in Europe and the rest of the world,” it said in a statement announcing the new partnership.
Dante plans, builds and operates advanced networks for research and education. GEANT is one of the results of Dante’s efforts and connects 50 million users across 10 000 education institutions in areas such as energy, environment, space and medicine. It is the network that connects Europe’s NRENs. UbuntuNet is the African equivalent of GEANT, and AfricaConnect links the two.
AfricaConnect was conceived to implement the findings of FEAST, a study commissioned by the European Community in 2008, to explore the feasibility of deploying a regional backbone to connect NRENs in Africa to each other and to GEANT. The study concluded that there was latent demand for connectivity, that the project was feasible, and recommended an AfricaConnect consortium be led by Dante with the Association of African Universities (AAU), UbuntuNet Alliance, West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) and European NRENs as partners.