Aberystwyth University invests in 'Dark Fibre' network


Aberystwyth University students living in University seafront residences will be able to enjoy super-fast internet access following the installation of a new Dark Fibre Network.
Working with Pinacl Solutions, the University has invested over a quarter of a million pounds in the new network that connects the Penglais Campus with the seafront residences which provide accommodation for 450 students.
The new Dark Fibre Network connects eight University buildings covering a total distance of 3,400m and consisting of over 58,000m of singlemode fibre and is operational from 30 April.
The new development means students will be able to access multimedia material and video on the internet much quicker than previously.
Initially this wide area network will run at 1 Gigabyte per second, facilitating download speeds that are much quicker than those experienced by most people through their home broadband. For the longer term it has the capacity to deliver speeds of 10 Gigabytes per second and beyond.
A Dark Fibre Network typically has a lifespan of over 30 years. The new network is expected to yield significant cost savings compared to the previous arrangement which was via leased lines that incurred rental charges.
As a University owned network it also provides greater flexibility and control over the bandwidth.
Tim Davies, Director of Information Services at Aberystwyth University said; “As the University’s academic programmes and leisure activities move over to ever more multi-media rich content, our wide area network bandwidth requirements are growing at a phenomenal rate.
“Dark Fibre allows us to run our wide area network at speeds required to meet current demands for super-fast internet access, but it will also allow us the scope to increase speed in-line with future demands.”
Aberystwyth University provides free wifi access to students across the whole of the University which delivers a faster service than provided by most 3G services in the Aberystwyth area.
Students living in the seafront halls are now able to access the new super-fast service through the University’s wifi network or by plugging their computers directly into the network.

Photo: Marking the transfer of the Dark Fibre Network to Aberystwyth University are (L to R) Christine Featherstone, Business Development Manager at Pinacl Solutions, Tim Davies, Director of Information Services at Aberystwyth University, Rob Bardwell, Managing Director Pinacl Solutions, and Hefin Jones, ICT Infrastructure Group Manager at Aberystwyth University.

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