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South Asia gets connected: new partners Sri Lanka and Nepal push TEIN3 users to over 45 million

May 2010 | Cambridge, UK

Aid effectiveness achieved through Internet development in Nepal and Sri Lanka
The European Commission-funded Trans-Eurasian Information Network (TEIN3) now spans the South Asian sub-region, with Nepal and Sri Lanka the latest countries to get connected to the TEIN3 pan-Asian research and education data-communications network. The new Nepal and Sri Lanka links allow a further 100,000 end users at 70 academic and research centres to collaborate with international colleagues via their national TEIN3 partners, Nepal Research and Education Network (NREN) and Lanka Education and Research Network (LEARN) respectively.
They join other South Asian partners India and Pakistan, and Taiwan, as partners of the TEIN3 network community, which initially connected eastern Asian countries in 2006, and now exceeds 45 million users in more than 8,000 academic institutions and research centres across Asia.  Furthermore, a high speed link to GÉANT means the TEIN3 community also enjoys high quality Internet connectivity with the 40 million users served by the pan-European network. Further countries in South Asia planning to connect to TEIN3 include Bhutan and Bangladesh.

“This is a major milestone for LEARN, as joining TEIN3 makes a huge difference to research and education activities in Sri Lanka”, said Nimal Ratnayake, CTO/CEO of LEARN. “Although LEARN has been in operation for almost two decades now, we only had access to commodity Internet so far.”

Dirk Meganck, Director Asia for the EC, welcomed the new connections: “We are delighted that TEIN3 is enabling the user communities across Asia to collaborate not only with their neighbours but also with European counterparts.  TEIN3 is providing an electronic network that is helping us work together more effectively to tackle major challenges that affect us all – such as fighting hunger through crop research, reducing the impact of natural disasters through typhoon forecasting, and saving lives through tele-medicine and medical training."
The TEIN3 network supports a wide range of academic and research projects with benefits for society at large.  In addition to major high speed transfer of data for environmental research programmes TEIN3 provides hospitals and schools in these countries with vital access to remote expertise and services through tele-medicine and e-learning initiatives. For Nepal it is planned that TEIN3 will boost research already underway to monitor and predict glacier melt patterns.
Prashant Manandhar, who is director at TEIN3’s Nepalese partner added: “Being part of the TEIN3 community allows us to connect with the rest of the academic world. The financial support of the European Commission (EC) which covers the bulk of TEIN3 connection costs is greatly appreciated. Getting connected to the academic Internet would simply be unaffordable for us without their support.”

“TEIN3 has become the primary network for Asian research and education networking”, said Dai Davies, General Manager at DANTE, the not-for-profit organisation that coordinates TEIN3. “EC funding has been vital for its establishment and success. For long-term sustainability of the network we are planning to transfer management of the TEIN3 programme to an in-region organisation supported by the connected networks in due course and value the EC’s continued support during this transitional period.”

About TEIN
TEIN (Trans-Eurasia Information Network) – creates the first large-scale research and education network for the Asia-Pacific region. It connects regional researchers and academics with their counterparts in Europe via GÉANT, the world’s most advanced international research and education network, providing the Asia-Pacific countries with a gateway for global research collaboration. TEIN3, the latest generation of the network is supported by €12 million from the EU and further funding from Asian partners.
First conceived in 2000 and now due to run until 2011, the TEIN project is contributing to the further development of the Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN) initiative, which was an outcome of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) to improve research networking between Europe and Asia-Pacific. Through TEIN1, the first Europe-Asia link dedicated for research and education was established bilaterally between RENATER in France and KISDI in South Korea, with the installation of a connection in December 2001. ASEM 6 in Helsinki in 2006 marked the official inauguration of TEIN2 which extended the bilateral success of TEIN2 to the regional level. Another milestone was achieved at the end of 2009 when the extension of the network to South Asia was formally inaugurated, thus bringing the Asian community further together.
Working in collaboration with DANTE on TEIN3 are RENATER, SURFnet and UKERNA, the National Research and Education Networks of France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, respectively.  The recent extension to South Asia brought the total number of Asian partners up to 19: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, with Australia also actively participating. For more information please visit Watch the TEIN3 Extension Video

DANTE is a non-profit organisation whose primary mission is to plan, build and manage research and education networks. Established in 1993, DANTE has been fundamental to the success of pan-European research and education networking. DANTE has built and operates GÉANT which provides the data-communications infrastructure essential to the success of many research projects in Europe. DANTE is involved in worldwide initiatives to interconnect countries in other regions to one another and to GÉANT. For more information, please visit

Helga Spitaler
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