The road ahead emerging after JANET’s ‘technical first’

It has to be worth noting that JANET has delivered a “technical first for UK research and education” by switching up to 100Gbit/s. As so many budgets are being slashed, is this a real indication about investing in the future?

It is hard to dismiss. While other countries are rushing ahead for the ordinary consumer, the UK has the fastest speeds at the heart of research and education.

At the same time, we have to wonder about the future when another story is emerging that the Government might take the cuffs off HEI admissions. There seems to be real consideration being given for Universities in the UK to admit ‘additional’ students, over and above the allocation, that can pay for their places and maintenance without troubling the public purse – and in many cases not exactly troubling their parents’ wallet either…

There is a fair amount of creative thinking going on in the face of the economic challenges clearly. How can anyone argue against 100Gbit/s? However, who will be tomorrow’s researchers using the system for its true purpose – to transfer database information rather than access an image for a primary school project?

We are reminded of the never-ending issue surrounding digital literacy with acknowledgement through a recent issue of JISC Inform that ‘there is poor support for learners’ developing strategies to make effective use of technologies for learning’. Infrastructure is one thing, but how certain can we be of this investment continuing?

I sense there will be quite a few people who feel they know how this all fits together for our HE and FE institutions, though I suspect there will be hardly any consensus among them.

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