To meet increasing demand for network capacity by the research and education community in Belarus, the Eastern Partnership Connect (EaPConnect) project has upgraded the link between the BASNET network and the pan-European GÉANT backbone network from 5 to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps).

The new Belarus link went live in August 2017, providing around 100 Belarusian research and education (R&E) institutes, libraries and universities with improved network connectivity, access to online resources, and opportunities for international collaboration.

Following a first connectivity upgrade in August 2016, which increased the BASNET network capacity from 1 to 5 Gbps, we saw that usage doubled up to May 2017. So, clearly we needed more bandwidth. Now that we have doubled the connectivity again, from 5 to 10 Gbps, we hope to see that our users consume the extra bandwidth to support their work in research and education.”

Sergei Kozlov, Head of Network Administration Sector at BASNET, UIIP NASB

The EU-funded EaPConnect project – led by GÉANT – is interconnecting the national R&E networks (NRENs) in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and integrating them with the GÉANT network in order to decrease the digital divide and facilitate the participation of local scientists, students and academics in global R&E collaborations.

GÉANT is pleased to contribute to increasing the opportunities for Belarusian researchers and educators to collaborate internationally across all kinds of fields. This is an opportunity to develop their own talents, skills, contacts and knowledge, but it’s also a chance for the EaP region to strengthen its bonds, and for Europe and the rest of the world to benefit from the expertise that Belarus and the region can contribute.”

Erik Huizer, CEO GÉANT

The newly upgraded link between Minsk in Belarus and Poznan in Poland is the second 10 Gbps link to the EaP region through the EaPConnect project, after Ukraine was provided with a high-capacity link earlier this year. All partner countries are now connected and the project will continue with network upgrades and with its knowledge-sharing activities.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargements Negotiations (DG NEAR) is contributing 95% (€13m) towards the cost of the EaPConnect project, providing funding under Grant Agreement 2015-356353; the remaining 5% is being co-funded by the six beneficiary countries.