Pan-European project to revolutionise broadband delivery gets €8.1m in funding

9 Jan 2013

A pan-European telecoms project aimed at transforming how broadband is delivered using fibre optics has been awarded €8.1m in EU funding. The project involves research groups at Trinity College Dublin, the Tyndall Institute in Cork and University College Cork.

The pan-European research project DISCUS, which was awarded funding under the European Union Seventh Framework Programme, is being co-ordinated by CTVR, Ireland’s telecommunications research centre headquartered at Trinity College Dublin.

The project will explore new ways to use optical fibre to build a simplified broadband network that will provide ultra high-speed internet to both urban and rural areas that is economically viable, environmentally sustainable and capable of supporting all current and forthcoming services for the foreseeable future.

Europe’s digital economy

“Strengthening Europe’s digital economy by advancing areas such as a high-speed broadband rollout is a priority for the Irish Presidency of the EU,” Ireland’s Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD, said.

“This pan-European telecommunications project, led by our own researchers here at CTVR at Trinity, will provide concrete results for the benefit of both Ireland and Europe and demonstrates the critical links between research and enterprise that lead ultimately to jobs creation,” Rabbitte added.

DISCUS addresses issues at the heart of fibre-optic broadband provision: the challenge of growing demand for broadband services requiring higher speed, as well as higher quality and ubiquitous availability that today’s networks cannot deliver.

The three-year European project includes 13 Irish and other European collaborative partners in optical networks and academia in Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, the UK, Sweden and France, where CTVR will be collaborating with major European telecom operators and equipment vendors, such as Telefónica, Telecom Italia, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia-Siemens, as well as SMEs and universities.

Of the €8.1m EU contribution, €2.78m is for work to be conducted in Ireland at Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and Tyndall National Institute.

“Leading such a top-tier international consortium is an endorsement of the strong international academic reputation that CTVR has earned and raises the profiles of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin as leaders in research and development of future broadband infrastructure,” the provost of Trinity College Dublin Dr Patrick Prendergast explained.

“It is also a demonstration of the value to Ireland of continued investment in high quality research.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years