AARNet or Australian Academic and Research Network offers Internet services to the Australian education and research communities and their research partners.AARNet is a not-for-profit company limited by shares. The shareholders are 37 Australian universities and the CSIRO Australia.

AARNet's services other than basic Internet connectivity include "GrangeNet" for grid computing, the mirror service at http://mirror.aarnet.edu.au/, and an IPv6 tunnel broker.


AARNet was initially created between educational facilities such as the Australian National University in Canberra and the University of Melbourne in Melbourne. AARNet was formed in 1989 by the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC).

Until this time, researchers within Australia had limited access to the ARPAnet, due to the high expense of providing communications between Australia and the United States. The national ARPAnet infrastructure generally consisted of groups of UUCP hosts throughout the country exchanging mail on a periodic schedule, with several international dial-up links around the country exchanging this information where required.

AARNet was engineered to use only the Internet Protocol (IP) for communications. In 1988, there were a number of popular network protocols, such as IBM SNA and X.25, and the ARPANet's IP protocol was only beginning to become favoured.An Australian National University faculty member, Geoff Huston, was seconded by the AVCC in 1989 and tasked with technical management of the new network.

AARNet introduced its value added reseller program to allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to use its network, the first being Connect.com.au in May, 1994.cite book |last=Goggin |first=Greg |coauthors=Goggin, Gerard |title=Virtual Nation: The Internet in Australia |url=http://books.google.com.au/books?id=FmHSqYXCW98C&pg=PA33&dq=%22Connect.com.au%22&lr=&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U0okxFl8atqlTcCORAj6fSF5Tb1JQ#PPA33,M1 |format= |accessdate=2008-09-16 |year=2005 |month= |publisher=UNSW Press |location=Sydney |isbn=9780868405032 |pages=33 |chapter= |chapterurl= ] AARNet gradually became a wholesale backbone ISP, serving over 300 smaller ISPs by June 1995. At that point, ~20% of total AARNet traffic was from these other users, and AVCC decided to sell the AARNet commercial assets to Telstra, who currently operates it under the name Telstra Internet.

In early 1997, the AVCC developed AARNet2, a network that used ATM links and Internet services under a contract with Cable & Wireless Optus (CWO), now Optus. AARNet became a separate company from AVCC in 1999.In 2001 AARNet deployed its first international capacity by acquiring 310 Mbit/s of capacity from Sydney via Hawaii to Seattle.


External links

* [http://www.aarnet.edu.au/ AARNet]
* [http://www.theage.com.au/news/technology/ultrafast-data-link-thrills-researchers/2008/01/16/1200419846497.html Gigabit Australia-US data link]

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