EU Funds $10.8 Million For Broadband In Ireland And Europe

  • CTVR
DUBLIN - DISCUS (The DIStributed Core for Unlimited Bandwidth Supply), a European telecom research consortium, has been awarded $10.8 million in EU funding for broadband provisioning in Europe and Ireland, as announced by Pat Rabbitte, Ireland's Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, on the occasion of a presentation on the priorities of the Irish presidency of the EU.

DISCUS was founded to analyze, design, and demonstrate a complete end-to-end architecture and technologies for an economically viable, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable future-proof optical network. The project is being coordinated by CTVR, the national telecommunications research center headquartered at Trinity College Dublin.

Announcing the EU funding award, Minister Rabbitte said: "Strengthening Europe’s digital economy by advancing areas such as a high-speed broadband rollout is a priority for the Irish Presidency of the EU. This pan European telecommunications project led by our own researchers here at CTVR at Trinity will provide concrete results for the benefit of both Ireland and Europe and demonstrates the critical links between research and enterprise that lead ultimately to jobs creation."

The project will explore new ways to use optical fiber to build a simplified broadband network that will provide ultra-high speed Internet to both urban and rural areas that is economically viable, environmentally sustainable and capable of supporting all current and forthcoming services for the foreseeable future.

A Plan for Higher Speeds, Higher Quality and Ubiquitous Availability
DISCUS addresses issues at the heart of the fiber-optic broadband provision: the challenge of growing demand for broadband services requiring higher speed as well as higher quality and ubiquitous availability that today’s networks cannot deliver.

The three-year European project includes 13 Irish and other European collaborative partners in optical networks and academia in Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, UK, Sweden and France where CTVR will be collaborating with major European telecom operators and equipment vendors such as Telefonica, Telecom Italia, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia-Siemens as well as universities and SMEs. Of the $10.8 million EU contribution, $3.72 million is for work to be conducted in Ireland at Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and Tyndall National Institute.

Commenting on the significance of the outcomes of the research project, its Trinity College coordinators Dr. Marco Ruffini of Computer Science and Professor David Payne of Electronic Engineering said: "We adopt a different technology called Long-Reach Passive Optical Network that compared to the current standard fiber to the home, allows us to increase the number of users per network from 32 to 1,000, and increase the distance between homes and central office from 6.2 miles to over 62 miles. This means that over 1,000 telecom local exchanges that we have today in Ireland could be consolidated into about 20 central nodes, reducing capital and operational costs, reducing power consumption, and extending the service availability also to rural areas. One of the key features of DISCUS is that we are viewing the entire network architecture as a whole, i.e. the access and the core parts together, and seeking solutions that can minimize the entire network cost."

The DISCUS consortium partners are Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), Alcatel Lucent (Germany), Nokia Siemens Networks (Germany), Telefonica Investigacion Y Desarrollo (Spain), Telecom Italia (Italy), Aston University (UK), Interuniversitair micro-electronica centrum (Belgium), III-V lab (France), Tyndall & University College Cork (Ireland), Polatis (UK), Atesio (Germany) and Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan (Sweden).

Total investment in this project is $15.6 million, of which $10.8.1 million has been contributed by the EU and the remainder is provided by the partners involved.


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