Canadian physicists achieve 100 gigabit/second transatlantic transmission, enabled by CANARIE and its global partners

CANARIE, a vital component of Canada’s digital infrastructure supporting research, education and innovation, today announced that together with its global network partners Internet2, NORDUnet, ESnet, SURFnet, and GÉANT, the first transatlantic transmissions at 100 gigabits/second between Canadian physicists and the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland were achieved.

The Canadian High Energy Physics network organization, HEPnet/Canada at the University of Victoria, under the direction of Dr. Randall Sobie and technical leadership of Ian Gable, and their colleagues from Caltech, under the leadership of Professor Harvey Newman, proved that data could be transferred from Geneva to Ottawa at 94 gigabits/second. At this speed, users could transmit 1 petabyte (1 million gigabytes) of data in one day.

To understand the immensity of 1 petabyte of data, consider that it is equivalent to the entire printed collection of the US Library of Congress being transferred 100 times. In 2013 alone, the CANARIE network carried over 90 petabytes of data between Canadian research and education institutions and their collaborators around the world. Data traffic over the CANARIE network has been increasing by 50% per year over the past several years.

“The new 100 gigabit/second transatlantic connection to CERN will ensure that Canadians can rapidly access the latest data from the Large Hadron Collider when it restarts in 2015”, says Dr. Sobie. “This unprecedented speed of data transfer to Canada would not be possible without the next-generation digital infrastructure that CANARIE and its provincial, territorial and global research and education network partners manage and evolve. We also thank Juniper Networks for providing a 100G router in Ottawa and CERN for providing us access to their network and computing facilities.”

This leading-edge network lays the foundation for accelerated discovery and global collaboration in entirely new suites of data-intensive applications, in fields such as genomics, astronomy and bioinformatics.

Mark Wolff, Chief Technical Officer at CANARIE, added “The 100 gigabit/second transmission is a testament to the power of collaboration between CANARIE and our partners Internet2 (USA), NORDUnet (Nordic countries), ESnet (USA), SURFnet (Netherlands), and GÉANT (European Union). CANARIE is proud to be an integral part of the infrastructure that enables this kind of advanced network power, which is critical as more users access and share vast data resources located in Canada and around the world.”

CANARIE is currently building a 100 gigabit/second network backbone across Canada. This backbone connects to twelve provincial and territorial partner networks, and through them, over 1,000 research, education and innovation institutions.

Learn more about the demonstration between HEPnet and CERN at

For more information, please contact:

Ela Ienzi
Communications Manager
CANARIE Inc. (613) 943-5432


CANARIE designs and delivers digital infrastructure, and drives its adoption for Canada’s research, education and innovation communities. CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a vibrant digital economy.

CANARIE’s roots are in advanced networking, and CANARIE continues to evolve the national ultra-high-speed backbone network that enables data-intensive, leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. One million researchers, scientists and students at over 1,100 Canadian institutions, including universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network.

CANARIE also leads the development of research software tools that enable researchers to more quickly and easily access research data, tools, and peers. In support of Canada’s high-tech entrepreneurs, CANARIE offers cloud- computing services to help them accelerate product development and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Twelve provincial and territorial network partners, together with CANARIE, collectively form Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN). This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canadians to national and global data, tools, colleagues, and classrooms that fuel the engine of innovation in today’s digital economy.

Established in 1993, CANARIE is a non-profit corporation, with the major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.

About HEPNET Canada

HEPnet Canada is responsible for national and international networks for the Canadian Subatomic Physics community and is operated from the University of Victoria on behalf of the Institute of Particle Physics of Canada. It is supported by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

For more information, please visit:

About Caltech

With an outstanding faculty that has been honored with 32 Nobel prizes and 66 National Medals of Science and Technology, and such off-campus facilities as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Palomar Observatory and the W. M. Keck Observatory, the California Institute of Technology is one of the world’s major research centers and a premier institution of learning. The Institute conducts instruction in science and engineering for a student body of approximately 950 undergraduates and 1,400 graduate students who maintain a high level of scholarship and intellectual achievement. Caltech’s 124-acre campus is situated in Pasadena, California, a city of 135,000 at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, approximately 30 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and 10 miles northeast of the Los Angeles Civic Center. Caltech is an independent, privately supported university, and is not affiliated with either the University of California system or the California State Polytechnic universities.