Sci & Tech

National Science Network Launched

The newly launched network is to connect Iranian universities to EU’s Scientific Network and the UK’s JANET
National Science Network LaunchedNational Science Network Launched
The network will provide universities with the required infrastructure to further establish their role in the economy and generate more wealth

In a landmark move, Iran’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology launched the National Education and Research Network during an official ceremony in Tehran.

Designed and established jointly by the Telecoms Ministry and the Ministry of Science, and making use of the country’s “Dark Fiber”, the network is set to connect all Iranian universities and research centers to each other via fiber optic cables, Mehr News Agency reported.

Dark fiber refers to unused fiber-optic cable. Often companies lay more lines than what is needed in order to curb the cost of having to go through the procedure time and again. Usually, the dark strands are leased to individuals or other companies keen on establishing optical connections among their own locations.

Director of Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology Fathollah Moztarzadeh called the network an “essential element” for the scientific growth of the country.

According to Moztarzadeh, the network will ease access to information and facilitate communication between academic centers.

He named connection to the EU’s Scientific Network and the UK’s JANET as some of the main services that will be offered through the national scheme.

JANET is a high-speed network used by the UK research and education community.

“The nature of scientific research has changed during the recent years and scientific work is not confined to a lone scientist, isolated in a laboratory,” he said.

According to the official, the change has made the establishment of new communication methods essential.

In addition to universities, hospitals and other medical centers can make use of the information circulated through the network. This will enable medical staff to have access to the latest scientific sources.

According to Science Minister Mohammad Farhadi, all Iranian universities and research centers will be connected to the network by 2019.

Telecoms Minister Mahmoud Vaezi was present at the event and said: “The network will enable Iranian universities to play a more active role in the international scientific arena. The network will enable universities to become economically more active.”

Iranian academic centers have distanced themselves from the knowledge-for-the-sake-of-knowledge approach to education in recent years.

Vaezi believes the establishment of the network will provide them with the infrastructure to strengthen their role in the economy and generate more wealth.

The dark fiber used in the scheme has been laid by the Telecommunications Company of Iran.

According to Vaezi, the company is not to charge the universities or the government for establishing the infrastructure.

 To Unblock YouTube

In addition to the launch of the network, the Telecoms Ministry is aiming to ease access to the Internet for universities and reduce the cost of communication for them.

Several websites like YouTube and BlogSpot are filtered in Iran. However, considering the demand for free access to these websites among the academics, the ministry is negotiating with the judiciary and other national bodies to unblock them.

Since President Hassan Rouhani took office, the country’s telecommunications network has grown significantly, which has had a positive impact on the activities of scientific centers.


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