|Geant will provide pan-European interconnection between National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in Europe at Gigabit speeds, based on direct access to optical connectivity where this is available in the market. Core connectivity procured will be 2.5 Gbps, enhanced to tens of Gbps, as soon as possible. The network will be extended from the current geography of TEN-155 to include connectivity to Cyprus, Israel and Poland and to extend it to Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia. Services will include a standard IP service, a premium IP service, a Guaranteed Capacity Service and Virtual Private Networks. Multicast and, later, new value-added services arising from networking developments will also be offered. A European Distributed Access will provide connectivity between European researchers and their counterparts in other world regions. OBJECTIVESThe key objective of Geant is to provide a very high performance, advanced, pan-European network service interconnecting the services provided by Europe's National Research and Education Networks (NRENs). It will support the development activities of the European research and education community, including the development of new advanced applications and the exploitation of new networking capabilities. Geant will create a ubiquitous infrastructure interconnecting the participating NRENs based on shared core connectivity operating at 2.5 Gbit/s initially and in the range of tens of Gbit/s within four years. It will maintain and develop a stable and dependable set of services on which a large and diverse end user community can rely. Geant will initiate a set of service developments that are needed to provide predictable Quality of Service. Consistent operational procedures will be set up to manage QoS mechanisms across multiple management domains. DESCRIPTION OF WORKA competitive tender will cover circuits with capacity in the range 2.5 to tens of Gbps and other appropriate capacity where Gbps is not offered competitively; telehousing; and network management services. Following the completion of this major milestone, implementation plans will be refined based on knowledge of the response to the ITT. Further tenders will be issued. A core transmission network with a capacity of at least 2.5 Gbps initially and tens of Gbps later will be implemented, involving in addition the procurement of new equipment, installation of new PoPs, integration of existing TEN-155 connectivity and the design of a mixed technology network which supports IP services over optical transmission between core locations together with IP over ATM elsewhere and the support of guaranteed capacity and VPN capability at all network nodes. Connections will be made to all partners, which are not already connected to TEN-155. Geant PoPs will be established in all partner countries. A cost-sharing model will be defined. Research networks from third countries will establish interconnections with Geant via a European Distributed Access in order to allow academic and research collaborations between Europe and other continents to be given high performance network support. Ways will be devised of providing the capability for guaranteed QoS at the IP level. Systems for the management of interworking with equivalent NREN services will be developed. A specification of a premium IP service which matches the requirements of the NRENs and their end users and an implementation plan (including management and accounting systems) will be produced. Traffic measurement facilities will be installed at all nodes. Some activities will be continuous: operation of the Geant services, operation by the NRENs of their access to Geant, promotion of use of the network. Comprehensive reports on usage will be produced monthly; annual reports will each include a review of the whole activity.