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Press Release 08-191
NSF Enables Pakistan to Connect to Global Research Community through New High Speed Link

Cooperation between NSF, Pakistan and EU-funded TEIN2 program delivers connectivity to enable global collaboration

Map showing connection between PERN/PERN2 point in Pakistan and TEIN landing point in Singapore.

Connection between PERN/PERN2 point in Pakistan and TEIN landing point in Singapore.
Credit and Larger Version

October 28, 2008

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Pakistan Higher Education Commission (HEC) applaud the creation of a functional U.S.-Pakistan network connection. This connection was "inaugurated" last week during the Internet2 Emerging National Research and Education Networks ("NREN") session at the Fall Internet2 meeting in New Orleans.

Representatives from the HEC in Pakistan participated in the meeting via a 155Mbps connection from Islamabad to the TEIN2 network, the NSF- funded TransPAC2 network, and the Internet2 network. The virtual participants from Pakistan were joined by virtual participants from Trinidad and Tobago, Egypt, India, Ecuador, Chile and Sweden.

"This represents a major milestone in the development of physical network connectivity between Pakistan and the global scientific community," said Arden L. Bement, Jr., director of the National Science Foundation. "I applaud the diligent and sustained efforts of technologists and governments in the U.S., Europe and Pakistan needed to make this vision a reality. Now we must continue those efforts toward our true goal of enhancing global research and education collaborations."

This network connection represents a unique cooperation between the United States, Pakistan and the European Commission (EC). The physical network connection between Karachi and Singapore was co-funded by the US-NSF and the Pakistan-HEC. In Singapore the network connects to the TEIN2 point of presence and via the EC funded TEIN2 network and the NSF-funded TransPAC2 project--led by Indiana University--to the global research and education network.

"Europe is delighted that Pakistan's scientists and academics are now connected to the global research and education community thanks to this new link," said Viviane Reding, European commissioner for Information Society and Media. "This is an excellent model for co-operation between the United States and European programs, which I hope we can build on in the future."

The introduction of high speed connectivity between the two countries was one stated objective that emerged from a Feb. 13-14, 2007, U.S.-Pakistan Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology co-chaired by Bement in Washington, D.C. Other proposed collaborative activities are outlined in the meeting's public report, which may be found at: http://www.state.gov/g/oes/rls/or/82287.htm.

This new network connection will enable Pakistani scientists from 60 universities and institutes, linked via the Pakistan Education Research Network (PERN), to work with their international peers on research projects that require fast data transfers to share information across the globe.

"I would like to congratulate all who have been involved in the development of this high-performance network connection," said Indiana University President Michael McRobbie. "In today's global marketplace, advanced computer networks have become essential, and through this new network connection, we can expect even greater levels of international participation in the advancement of education and research."

"This network connection is the result of the hard work of many people and groups from the U.S., Pakistan and the EU. It is now our responsibility to continue that hard work and cooperation as we transform this link into a valuable piece of international cyberinfrastructure," said James Williams, principal investigator, Indiana University.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, lisajoy@nsf.gov

Principal Investigators
James Williams, Indiana University, 812-855-5742, william@indiana.edu

Related Websites
Trans-Eurasia Information Network: http://www.tein2.net/
Higher Education Commission, Pakistan: http://www.hec.gov.pk/
Indiana University Press Release: http://uitspress.iu.edu/news/page/normal/9124.html
US-Pakistan International Research and Education Network Connection project: http://www.pakistan.indiana.edu
European Commission Press Release: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1590&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=de

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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