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Brian D. Voss

Last modified: Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Increased TransPAC capacity makes possible greater international scientific, research collaboration

Indiana University today (Feb. 13) announced vastly increased capacity for TransPAC, the high-speed international Internet service connecting research and education networks in the Asia Pacific to those in the United States.

This will make a vital contribution to continuing and expanding international collaboration between researchers in the United States and those in the Asia Pacific in digitally enabled science -- widely called e-science.

"Science and research are becoming progressively more international and digitally based with world-wide e-science communities evolving around disciplines that integrate computation, data, instruments and arrays of sensors. Global high-speed networks are the critical foundations on which e-science is based," said Michael McRobbie, IU vice president for information technology and chief information officer, who also is principal investigator for the United States in TransPAC. "It will provide a very significant enhancement of the global digital infrastructure that underpins e-science collaboration between the United States and the Asia Pacific."

TransPAC supports international collaborations in many fields of basic science, technology, engineering and medicine. Some representative applications include participation in the Grid Physics Network (GriPhyN) for distribution and analysis of experimental results in high energy physics; the Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network, providing genomic data, computational resources, and community support for medical and biological research (bioinformatics); and the Joint Program for Arctic Atmosphere Observation between laboratories at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Communications Research Laboratory in Japan (earth sciences).

In astronomy and space science, TransPAC supports the Japan-U.S. collaboration in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Images are transferred from FermiLab in the United States to Japan for post-processing, analysis, archiving and redistribution within the Asia-Pacific region.

"This new connection provides substantially increased network bandwidth between the Asia-Pacific region and the United States over two physically separate links to two different endpoints within the U.S.," said Brian Voss, IU associate vice president for telecommunications. "It will provide diverse, resilient, and stable connectivity that allows e-scientists working together in the United States and the Asia Pacific to focus on their work and not be hampered by a congested network connection across the Pacific."

TransPAC connects research and education networks in the Asia Pacific associated with the Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) to the Internet2 Abilene network, the vBNS, and other global networks. TransPAC will increase bandwidth available for researchers from 155Mbps (megabits per second) to 1.244Gbps (gigabits per second). International circuits for TransPAC are provided by Teleglobe and Kokusai Denshin Denwa, Co. Ltd. (KDDI).

Operational support for TransPAC is provided in the US by IU's Global Research Network Operations Center (Global NOC) and in Japan by the KDDI APAN NOC.

Teleglobe will expand TransPAC network capacity through a trans-Pacific 622Mbps (megabits per second) fiber optic connection between Teleglobe's Tokyo Point of Presence (POP) and its Seattle network facilities. Seattle is the location of a major access point for the Internet2 Abilene high-performance network, the Canadian Advanced Network for Advancement of Research in Industry and Education's (CANARIE) Ca*net3 network, the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet), and various federal networks, providing connectivity to more than 200 North American universities and research institutions.

KDDI will expand TransPAC network capacity through a 622Mbps (megabits per second) trans-Pacific ATM connection between the Tokyo Point of Presence (POP) and the StarLight optical networking facility, which is run by the University of Illinois at Chicago. At StarLight, TransPAC will connect to the Dutch high-performance network (SURFnet) and STAR TAP, site of many international network connections. TransPAC will also have a second, redundant Abilene connection at StarLight.

"The value of the TransPac network has just increased markedly, without further investment by the funding agencies," said Aubrey Bush, division director, National Science Foundation. "The partners are to be congratulated for making such an effective use of research funding."

"We are pleased that KDDI and Teleglobe are taking this opportunity to become leaders in promoting international high-bandwidth connections which support applications development among the R&E networks, and we are confident they will play a valuable role in the success of international e-science," McRobbie said.

Major funding for TransPAC comes from the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Japan Science and Technology Corp.

Background Information:

Indiana University is one of the oldest state universities in the Midwest and also one of the largest universities in the United States, with more than 110,000 students, faculty, and staff on eight campuses. IU has a growing national and international reputation in the areas of information technology and advanced high performance networking. For more information, visit

TransPAC offers its high-bandwidth research network to nearly 100 Asia-Pacific and United States educational institutions and research laboratories for testing a range of applications, including astronomy, molecular biology, high-energy physics, medicine, meteorology, computational science, and distance learning. For more information, visit

Teleglobe, a leading provider of global communications and Internet services, enables its customers to maximize the potential of the Internet through its delivery of hosting services, content distribution and global connectivity. With a maximum lit capacity of 10 million Gbps-miles, 57 major POPs and 300,000 square feet of hosting facilities (year-end 2001), Teleglobe has one of the world's largest international Internet backbones serving a broad base of enterprise, Internet content provider (ICP), Internet service provider (ISP) and carrier customers. Teleglobe is expanding its network with its GlobeSystem initiative, a multi-billion dollar IP network and hosting deployment that will increase current capacity 200-fold and provide a robust platform for a portfolio of Internet and data services. For more information, visit

KDDI Group, with subsidiaries and offices in countries around the world, provides high-quality, seamless network service that interconnects every corner of the globe. The comprehensive support of KDDI not only covers network services such as leased circuits and frame relay/cell relay services but also extends to system integration and housing of customer telecom facilities. Network operation centers in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles and London provide 24/7 operations and monitoring of customer networks. For more information, visit and

StarLight, the Optical STAR TAP, is an advanced optical infrastructure and proving ground for network services optimized for high-performance applications. StarLight is being developed by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University, and the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory, in partnership with CANARIE and SURFnet. For more information, visit

The Global Research Network Operations Center (Global NOC) at IU manages the international network connections from advanced research and education networks in the Asia/Pacific, Europe, Russia and South America to the Science Technology and Research Transit Access Point (STAR TAP) and the leading U.S. high performance research and education networks such as Abilene (the network that supports the Internet2 project), the NSF's very high performance Backbone Network System (vBNS) and the Department of Energy's ESNET. For more information, visit

For more information about Internet2, visit