Miami, Florida, December 1, 2016 – Angola Cables and Florida International University’s (FIU) Center for Internet Augmented Research and Assessment (CIARA) today expanded their memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the development of a next-generation Internet network to include Africa. The multi-institutional project — managed by the AmLight Consortium — will link academic communities across African, North American and Latin American countries in order to improve knowledge sharing and research.
The AmLight Consortium — a group of not-for-profit universities, state, national and regional research and education networks — provides high-speed submarine cable connectivity between the US and Brazil, as well as Chile. The agreement will see expanded connectivity provided by Angola Cables that will help promote the development of advanced network applications, content, and services between the Americas and Africa. Over a 10-year period, the agreement stipulates that the usage of the Americas-Africa cable used by the consortium will be restricted to research and education (R&E) applications.
The FIU AmLight Consortium Principal Investigator, Dr. Julio Ibarra said: ”We are dedicated to leveraging next-generation network connectivity in support of educational opportunities and world-class scientific research collaboration. The inclusion of Africa through this historic partnership with Angola Cables is a tremendous step toward that goal.”
Antonio Nunes, CEO of Angola Cables said: “Our fibre optic cables bridge oceans and provide an opportunity to share ideas and knowledge, as well as improve social and economic development, regardless of geography. This agreement solidifies our commitment to infrastructures that support the expansion of research and education in Africa and around the world.”
Angola Cables is responsible for the management and development of WACS (West Africa Cable System) providing carrier-level services to operators in Angola and in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. The WACS cable connects Yzerfontein in South Africa to Highbridge in the United Kingdom, as well as numerous countries along the West coast of Africa. The company is also building the Monet submarine cable system (scheduled to be ready for service mid-2017) that will link Santos and Fortaleza in Brazil, and Boca Raton, Florida, in the USA. Angola Cables has a concurrent project called the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), a submarine cable being deployed between Angola and Brazil that is expected to be completed in 2018.
The International AmLight Consortium partners include:
- Academic Network at São Paulo (ANSP: São Paulo, Brazil)
- Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa (RNP: Brazil)
- Association for Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA, USA)
- Cooperación Latino Americana de Redes Avanzadas (RedCLARA: Latin America)
- Internet2 (USA)
- Red Universitaria Nacional (REUNA:Chile)
- Canadian Advanced Research and Education Network (CANARIE, Canada)
- Florida Lambda Rail (FLR, USA)
- Florida International University (AtlanticWave and AMPATH, USA)
Distributed Open Software Defined Exchange Model
Plans are underway to interconnect the research and education communities of the US and Africa by establishing a high-performance network link between the AMPATH Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Miami, and Angonix, an IXP in Luanda (Angola), as well as fostering the development of emerging IXPs in Fortaleza, Brazil. This infrastructure will connect with the Atlantic Wave-Software Defined Exchange (SDX) in Sao Paulo, Miami, Boca Raton, and Atlanta, GA. The collaboration will work to provide efficient peering between National Research & Education Networks (NRENs) and communities of interest through a distributed open SDX model.
Developing Angola IXP and connecting South Africa
In Fortaleza, RNP will operate a new open exchange point. This exchange point will support both the infrastructure to Luanda and Miami, as well as terrestrial and submarine links to the South, expected future connectivity to Europe, as well as newly planned intercontinental connectivity. In Luanda, Angola Cables operates an open exchange point, Angonix, as well as a national research and education network. With connections to the EU and the development of a West African Regional Education Network, the South African Research Network Competency Area (SANReN CA) will connect with Angonix, leveraging resources in the Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa to interconnect with both South Africa, and UbuntuNet.
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About Angola Cables: Angola Cables is an Angolan telecommunications company founded in 2009, which operates in the wholesale market and whose core business is the commercialisation of capacity in international circuits for voice and data through Submarine Cable Systems throughout the South Atlantic and Africa. Angola Cables is responsible for the management and development of WACS (West Africa Cable System) providing carrier-level services to operators in Angola and in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa; fast becoming one of the leading capacity providers on the continent. It also operates Angonix (Angolan IXP) in its data centre in Luanda, and is building a world-class data centre and interconnection facility in Fortaleza, Brazil. For more information visit www.angolacables.co.ao.
About SANReN CA: The South African National Research Network (SANReN) Competency Area (CA) at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is responsible for the design, acquisition and roll-out of national and international capacity for the SA NREN, as well as the development and incubation of advanced services. It forms part of a comprehensive South African government approach to cyberinfrastructure, geared at ensuring the successful participation of South African researchers in the global knowledge production endeavour. SANReN CA and the Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa (TENET) co-operate closely in building and supporting the South African NREN as a research, education and innovation platform for the benefit of its customers and users, and for the realisation of associated national development objectives.
About the UbuntuNet Alliance: The UbuntuNet Alliance is a regional association of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in Africa. It was established in the latter half of 2005 by five established and emerging NRENs in Eastern and Southern Africa: MAREN (Malawi), MoRENet, (Mozambique), KENET (Kenya), RwEdNet (Rwanda) and TENET (South Africa).
About CIARA: Florida International University’s Center for Internet Augmented Research and Assessment (CIARA), in the Division of IT, has developed an international, high-performance research connection point in Miami, Florida, called AMPATH (AMericasPATH; www.ampath.net). AMPATH extends participation to underrepresented groups in Latin America and the Caribbean, in science and engineering research and education through the use of high-performance network connections. AMPATH is home to the Americas Lightpaths Express and Protect (AmLight-ExP) high-performance network links connecting Latin America to the U.S., funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), award #ACI-1451018; and the AtlanticWave-SDX: NSF Award# ACI- 1451024, 2015-2020, IRNC: RXP: AtlanticWave-Software Defined Exchange: A Distributed Intercontinental Experimental Software Defined Exchange (SDX).
About ANSP: The Academic Network of São Paulo (ANSP) provides connectivity to the top R&E institutions, facilities and researchers in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, including the University of São Paulo, the largest research university in South America. ANSP directly connects to AmLight in Miami at 20G. ANSP also provides connectivity to Kyatera, a 9-city dark-fiber-based optical network infrastructure linking 20 research institutions in the state and a number of special infrastructure projects like GridUNESP, one of the largest computational clusters in Latin America, supporting interdisciplinary grid-based science (www.ansp.br).
About RNP: The Brazilian Education and Research Network (RNP), qualified as a Social Organization (OS) by the Brazilian government, is supervised by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), and is maintained through the inter-ministerial RNP program, which also includes the Ministries of Education (MEC), Health (MS) and Culture (MinC). The first Internet provider in Brazil with national coverage, RNP operates a high-performance nationwide network, with points of presence in all 26 states and the national capital, providing service to over 1200 distinct locations. RNP’s more than four million users are making use of an advanced network infrastructure for communication, computation and experimentation, which contributes to the integration of the national systems of Science, Technology and Innovation, Higher Education, Health and Culture (www.rnp.br/en).
About AURA: The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a consortium of 40 US institutions and four international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. In addition, AURA is deeply committed to public and educational outreach, and to diversity throughout the astronomical and scientific workforce. AURA carries out its role through its astronomical facilities.
About CLARA: CLARA, the Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks (Cooperación Latino Americana de Redes Avanzadas), is a non-profit organization whose members are the national R&E networks (NRENs) of Latin America, and which is in charge of the management, development and operation of RedCLARA as well as the coordination of Latin America’s research networking activities. RedCLARA directly connects to AmLight links in São Paulo, Santiago, Miami and Tijuana. Latin American NRENs connected to redCLARA: Argentina (Innova-Red), Brazil (RNP) ,Chile (REUNA), Colombia (RENATA), Costa Rica (RedCONARE), Ecuador (CEDIA), El Salvador (RAICES), Guatemala (RAGIE), México (CUDI), Panamá (RedCYT), Perú (RAAP), Uruguay (RAU) and Venezuela (REACCIUN).
About Internet2: Internet2, a US national backbone network, peers with Latin American R&E networks over AtlanticWave and PacificWave, from multiple peering points. Internet2 comprises 252 U.S. universities, 82 leading corporations, 68 affiliate members, including government agencies, 41 regional and state education networks, and more than 65 national research and education networking partners representing over 100 countries.
About REUNA (Chile): Red Universitaria Nacional, REUNA, provides a leading digital platform that articulates, connects, and fosters collaboration between Chilean organisations focused on science, education and local culture, connecting them to the rest of the world through innovative services. With over 20 years experience and currently made up of 31 institutions, REUNA’s digital platform covers 13 regions between the northern city of Arica and the southern city of Osorno.
About CANARIE (Canada): Canarie, Canada’s NREN, interconnects with U.S. R&E networks at PacificWave (Seattle), StarLight (Chicago), MANLAN (New York), and peers with Latin American NRENs over AtlanticWave and PacificWave. One million researchers, scientists and students at nearly 2,000 Canadian institutions, including universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network.
About Florida LambdaRail (FLR): FLR is the regional optical network of Florida, formed as a consortium of the Florida’s research universities, to support their research and education mission. FLR operates a robust and scalable 1,540-mile 100G capable network that spans the state of Florida, and provides members and affiliates with a cost effective, ultra-high speed, interconnected, broadband service delivery network.