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Christine Fitzpatrick
Office of the Vice President for Information Technology

Last modified: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

IU leads project to connect Pakistan to global research community via new high-speed network

Oct. 28, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University, the National Science Foundation, the Pakistan Higher Education Commission, and the European Commission have partnered to extend the NSF-funded TransPAC2 network managed by IU to connect scientists and researchers in Pakistan to their counterparts in the global scientific community.

Wheeler image

Photo by: Ann Schertz

Brad Wheeler

Print-Quality Photo

"This is another example of Indiana University's strategy to lead in the advanced research networks that connect the world of scholarship and discovery," said IU Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Brad Wheeler. "IU's Global Research Network Operations Center continues its fine work with the National Science Foundation, Internet2, National LambdaRail, and other international networks to remotely manage these high-performance networks so critical to the advancement of global scientific research."

The new connection was inaugurated during the recent Fall Internet2 meeting in New Orleans. Representatives from the Higher Education Commission in Pakistan participated in the meeting using the 155Mbps connection from Islamabad to the EU-funded TEIN2 network, the NSF- funded TransPAC2 network, and finally the Internet2 Network to reach New Orleans. The virtual participants from Pakistan were joined by virtual participants from more than 10 other countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, Egypt, India, Ecuador, Chile and Sweden.

"I would like to congratulate all who have been involved in the development of this high-performance network connection," said IU President Michael McRobbie. "In today's global marketplace, advanced computer networks have become essential, and through this new network connection, we can expect even greater levels of international participation in the advancement of education and research."

This new network connection will enable Pakistani scientists from 60 universities and institutes, linked via the Pakistan Education Research Network, to work with their international peers on research projects that require fast data transfers to share information across the globe.

James Williams

James Williams

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"The hard work of many people from the U.S., Pakistan and Europe made this possible," said James Williams, principal investigator, Indiana University. "It is now our responsibility to continue that hard work and cooperation as we transform this link into a valuable piece of international cyberinfrastructure."

The connection represents a unique cooperation between the United States, Pakistan and the European Commission. The physical network connection between Karachi and Singapore was co-funded by the U.S. NSF and the Pakistan HEC. In Singapore the network connects to the TEIN2 point of presence and via the EU-funded TEIN2 network and the NSF-funded TransPAC2 project -- led by Indiana University -- to the global research and education network.

"This represents a major milestone in the development of physical network connectivity between Pakistan and the global scientific community," said Arden L. Bement, director of the National Science Foundation. "I applaud the diligent and sustained efforts of technologists and governments in the U.S., Europe and Pakistan needed to make this vision a reality. Now we must continue those efforts toward our true goal of enhancing global research and education collaborations."

The introduction of high speed connectivity between the two countries was one stated objective that emerged from a February 2007 U.S.-Pakistan Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology in Washington, D.C. Other proposed collaborative activities are outlined in the meeting's public report, which may be found at:

Listen to an audio podcast of Jim Williams discussing the connection.