Research and Education Networking FAQ - Projects

What is GN3 (GÉANT)?

GN3 is an integrated infrastructure project in European Union’s 7th Framework Programme. It involves the 34 members of the NREN Consortium and has a budget of around EUR 180 million, of which EUR 93 million is contributed by the EU (the rest coming from the project participants). The project started in 2009 and will run until 2013.

The main objective of the project is to provide a pan-European backbone network that interconnects the participating NRENs, in order to meet the needs of the academic community in Europe. This network known as GÉANT3 (or more commonly GÉANT) is a continuation of the earlier GÉANT2 (2005-2009), GÉANT (2001-2005), TEN-155 (1998-2001), TEN-34 (1997-1998), EuropaNet (1993-1997) and IXI (1991-1993) networks, and offers both production IP and dedicated lightpath services. The core of the network is built over dark fibre, with lower-speed leased lines being utilised where this is not yet available.

It is important to make a distinction between the GN3 project and the GÉANT network as the project encompasses a number of additional activities:

The Networking Activities deal with various non-technical aspects of the project. NA1 undertakes the overall project management; NA2 disseminates information about the project; NA3 consults with the users of the GÉANT network in order to understand their needs and requirements; whilst NA4 develops contacts with regions outside of Europe amd provides support to the less-developed countries within the geographic area covered by GN3.

The Service Activities are those that directly relate to the provisioning and usage of the GÉANT network. SA1 procures the connections and equipment; SA2 specifies and implements the necessary network services; SA3 is responsible for end user services; whilst SA4 is responsible for software development.

The Joint Research Activities investigate and develop possible future network enhancements. JRA1 examines with new transmission technologies; JRA2 deals with network control mechanisms; whilst JRA3 considers how to develop and improve federated services.

GN3 is coordinated and managed on a day-to-day basis by DANTE, although strategic decisions are made by the NREN Consortium as a whole. DANTE is also responsible for the GÉANT network, although the work of some of the NAs and JRAs is undertaken by other project partners.


There are several projects within the European Union's 7th Framework Programme that provide connectivity to various regions from the GÉANT network. These aim to improve research and education networking within those particular regions, whilst facilitating collaboration between European institutions and those located elsewhere. These projects complement the GN3 project, and are currently as follows:


The ALICE2 (America Latina Interconectada Con Europa) project supports research and education networking in the Latin American region. It not only provides connectivity to GÉANT, but also helps support the RedCLARA network that interconnects NRENs in the region. It involves 19 partners and has a budget of around EUR 12 million, of which EUR 6 million is contributed by the European Union (the rest coming from the project participants).

The RedCLARA network currently connects Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. There are also plans to connect Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Paraguay. Connectivity to GÉANT is provided via Spain, and there are other links to research and education networks in the United States.

The project is coordinated by DANTE and also involves CLARA, CEDIA (Ecuador), CoNARE (Costa Rica), CUDI (Mexico), FCCN (Portugal), GARR (Italy), InnovaRed (Argentina), REACCUIN (Venezuela), RAAP (Peru), RAGIE (Guatemala), RAICES (El Salvador), RAU2 (Uruguay), RedCyT (Panama), RedIRIS (Spain), RENATA (Columbia), RENATER (France), REUNA (Chile), and RNP (Brazil).


The BSI (Black Sea Interconnection) project provides connectivity to countries in the Caucasus region; namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Its total budget is EUR 1.8 million, of which EUR 1.4 million is contributed by the European Union.

The project is coordinated by DANTE and also involves AzRENA (Azerbaijan), CEENet, GRENA (Georgia), GRNET (Greece), NAS RA (Armenia), and ULAKBIM (Turkey).


The CAREN (Central Asian Research and Education Network) project aims to provide connectivity to countries in Central Asia; namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Its total budget is EUR 6.25 million, of which EUR 5 million will be contributed by the European Union.

The project is coordinated by DANTE and also involves KazRENA (Kazakhstan), KRENA-AkNET (Kyrgystan), TARENA (Tajikistan), TuRENA (Turkmenistan), and UzSciNet (Uzbekistan).


The EUMEDCONNECT2 project provides connectivity to countries in North Africa and the Middle East; namely Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia.

The project is coordinated by DANTE and also involves Al Quds Open University (Palestine), ARN (Algeria), Birzeit University (Palestine), CCK (Tunisia), CYNET (Cyprus), EUN (Egypt), GARR (Italy), GRNET (Greece), JUnet (Jordan), MARWAN (Morocco), RedIRS (Spain), RENATER (France), and SHERN (Syria)


The ORIENT project provides connectivity between GÉANT and CERNET, the Chinese NREN. It is co-funded by the European Union (25%), six European NRENs (25%) and CERNET (50%).

The project is coordinated by DANTE and CERNET, and also involves CESNET (Czech Republic), DFN (Germany), GARR (Italy), GRNET (Greece), JANET (United Kingdom), and RENATER (France).


The TEIN3 (Trans-Eurasia Information Network) project focuses on providing connectivity between GÉANT and the Asia-Pacific region. It is co-funded funded by the European Union and a number of European and Asian partners.

The GÉANT network is connected via two routes to Hong Kong (via China) and Singapore (via India). From these PoPs, there are connections to Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, South Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Some of these intra-regional links also form part of the APAN network, and there are also plans to connect Bangladesh, Bhutan and Cambodia.

The project is coordinated by DANTE and also involves AARNet (Australia), ASTI (Philippines), BdREN (Bangladesh), CamREN (Cambodia), CERNET (China), ERNET (India), HARNET (Hong Kong), ITB (Indonesia), JANET(UK) (United Kingdom), MAFFIN (Japan), MDEC (Malaysia), NCTU (Taiwan), NIA (South Korea), NiCT (Japan), NII (Japan), National University of Laos (Laos), NREN (Nepal), PERN (Pakistan), RENATER (France), SingAREN (Singapore), SURFnet (The Netherlands), ThaiREN (Thailand), and VINAREN (Vietnam).