Home | Useful Links | Contact Information | Optima | Web Admin | Français
Private Fibre-Optic Networks
Completed Projects
Press Room
Xit télécom


Pan Arab Research and Education Network Feasibility Study Launched

March 7, 2005, Ottawa, Canada:

Connectivity Partners International, Inc. and Xit Telecom Inc., are pleased to announce the initiation of a $380K (Cdn) consulting study of the policy, regulatory and technical feasibility of establishing a dedicated broadband network linking leading universities in countries across the Middle East and North Africa. The project is being sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency and Cisco Systems, Inc. The results of the study will be provided to the participating organizations and their governments by September 2005.

The Project aims to demonstrate the practicality and cost-effectiveness of networking some of the Arab World’s main research and education centers, beginning with leading universities, by better harnessing existing telecommunications assets. It is anticipated that the network will span over 6,000 kilometers and provide bandwidth in the gigabit range typical of contemporary research networks in Europe and North America. This work builds on work by CPI, Xit and Canarie in helping to design and cost Jordan’s National Learning Network including the now operational University Research and Learning Network connecting that country’s eight public universities. As has been shown in Jordan and other countries, private research networks are often able to provide much higher bandwidth at lower cost, especially if they can take advantage of existing but unused fibre optic capacity.

“Advanced telecommunications is critical to helping universities play an expanded role in economic, social and cultural development within the Arab World,” said Mr. Douglas Hull, President of CPI, “and we think there are practical ways of ensuring better access at lower costs”. He noted that two of the world’s leading university network organizations, DANTE and CANARIE, are supportive of the project and willing to provide technical advice.

The existing EUMEDCONNECT network built by DANTE using European Union subsidies provides advanced international communications facilities between the countries of the Middle East and North Africa and provides them with high-speed access to the pan-European GÉANT network. Developing the network facilities available within the countries of the region will complement EUMEDCONNECT’s achievements. “Most countries in the Region already have university networks but these are often able to provide only limited bandwidth” explains Mr. David West, Project Manager, DANTE, “but interconnecting the hub institutions in each country through a fibre-based network could offer significant performance, cost and administrative improvements. Combined with the advantages delivered by the EUMEDCONNECT network, this would further improve the ability of the region’s universities
to collaborate with the international research community.”

As an initial partner in developing the Connecting Jordanians agenda and designing Jordan’s broadband university network, Canarie Inc., the architect and manager of Canada’s advanced innovation network Ca*net, expressed enthusiastic support for the project. "Fibre-based customer-empowered networks are the leading-edge of university connectivity and national innovation.” said Dr. Andrew Bjerring, Canarie President and CEO. “This is a very important step for the Region’s research and learning institutions.”

Connectivity Partners International Inc. is a Canadian-based IT consulting firm specializing in the development and implementation of national, regional and local IT strategies and the design and deployment of advanced networks and connectivity programs, especially in the research, education and government sectors.

Xit télécom inc is an engineering firm based in the Province of Quebec which has been extensively involved in deploying dark fiber networks in Canada. For example, Xit engineered the RISQ University network in Quebec which links all universities and colleges in the Province. The firm has also been involved in designing and constructing other university and school networks in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

For more information on the Pan Arab Research and Education Network feasibility study project, please contact doug.hull@connectivitypartners.ca.
For background on Xit Telecom Inc. and Connectivity Partners International Inc. please visit: www.xittelecom.com and www.connectivitypartners.ca, respectively.

Back to the news list