You may have heard of the Lanka Education and Research (LEARN) which forms the backbone of connection between state universities, the Ministry of Higher Education and a handful of research institutes. Sri Lanka Telecom recently bestowed an upgrade on the network, bringing it to 1.65 Gbps (a little over 1/30th of our country’s current total bandwidth). The network now is based on MPLS IP VPN, and reportedly uses quite a bit of fiber optic infrastructure to connect the universities to the national backbone.
We’re told that the “the upgraded network infrastructure will facilitate various types of e-Learning activities (online & distance education), video conferencing, video streaming as well as routing of inter-university voice and broadband internet access for academics and students in the respective universities..”
Just as interesting is this comment by Kiththi Perera, Chief Enterprise and Wholesales Officer at SLT: “LEARN helps Sri Lankan academics to be involved and participate in global research & education and bring new knowledge. The fourth generation of the Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN4) provides a dedicated high-capacity Internet network for research and education communities across the Asia-Pacific region. TEIN4 connectivity provides high-quality, congestion-free network access to academic and research institutions worldwide. This connectivity is provided free–of–charge to all institutions connected to the LEARN network.”
Which, in everyday English, means that LEARN is now hooked up to a 10 Gbps line across the Asia-Pacific region used primarily for collaborative research projects.