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National Host Interconnection Experiments

Project Acronym
National Host Interconnection Experiments
Subject Index Code
Electronics, Microelectronics; Information Processing, Information Systems; Telecommunications
Other Indexes
External: Broadening of Awareness (Programme level); Network Level Inter-operability and Management
The key issue addressed by NICE is how to mount distributed broadband applications on an ATM infrastructure, quickly and easily. NICE is concentrating on distributed teleconferencing applications, together with fast asynchronous services. This is because there is a real need to support teleconferences and distributed meetings associated with ACTS and other EU R&D activities. The National Hosts are the prime vehicle for providing these experimental services.
NICE is therefore integrating systems so as to enable groups of National Hosts to provide common, international broadband teleconferencing and fast asynchronous services based on ATM.
NICE is also using the experience gained to provide advice and guidance to ACTS projects seeking to use these applications between the National Hosts or to create their own applications.
NICE will later inform the telecommunications community about techniques and conventions which are useful for test and operation of this class of applications over ATM. The membership and activities of NICE have been extended in 1996 to Central & E. Europe (CEE) and the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union (NIS). Canadian researchers are also collaborating in NICE trials. The aim is to spread knowledge, skills and contacts in the field of broadband communications and to ensure that experimental services can be shared with researchers outside of Europe.
General Information
Technical Approach
NICE integrates systems consisting of broadband network configurations and local computers and applications software. NICE seeks to extend the functionality of the applications and to enable them to be set up and run on a variety of infrastructures, including satellite links.
Systems are subjected to large scale trials with live users, so as to ensure their performance and acceptability. These international trials are on a scale that no one participant or country could mount by itself.
In addition to the technical part of these trials, NICE has provided the organisation and content of the distributed Summer School in 1996 and will do the same for a distributed event in E. Europe in 1997. These events include lectures, discussions, tutorials and demonstrations.
When trials are completed NICE publishes the results as "validated configurations." These are defined sets of equipment and telecommunications services together with tools and procedures to install and test them.
NICE is promoting its validated configurations for use by the National Hosts and will give consultancy and support to those National Hosts which decide to adopt these and participate in international services. The international connections between the National Hosts will be provided either via terrestrial links or via satellite.

In E. Europe and the former Soviet Union NICE will adapt its technology to fit the available infrastructure. It will also provide guidance to organisations seeking to set up National Hosts.
NICE is accumulating a fund of knowledge in the integration and operation of teleconferencing applications over ATM and is passing on this knowledge to other users. We are using the InfoWin project to publish information and are supplementing this with our own newsletter and Web site for more detailed information. To do its work NICE has three technical workpackages, dealing with systems integration, ATM-over-satellite and operations support for trials and user projects. These are supplemented by two workpackages for external liaison and project management.
Summary of Trial
NICE has completed a first round of trials in 1996, and has published the first set of validated configurations for large-scale teleconferences, for the extension of these teleconferences through the MBONE and for high-speed document collection and distribution. The 1996 trials included the 4th Advanced Broadband Communications Summer School. This was a 4-day conference covering 22 sites plus an additional distribution to MBONE sites, resulting in an audience of around 1000 people.
NICE has also run a distributed meeting for the G7's GIBN project. This involved members of a working party at four different sites in Europe and N. America co-operating to edit a joint report.
Ten new partners from Eastern Europe and the former USSR joined the project in September 1996 and are now fully integrated in its work. In January 1997 NICE ran its first internal trial linking Russian and Western partners in a workshop.
Support from NICE will enable the National Hosts to provide common broadband applications for the R&D community on an international basis.

NICE spans Europe and beyond - from Ottawa to Novosibirsk
Expected Impact
The dissemination of results to the international telecommunications community and to standardisation bodies will contribute to the creation of new international standards in the area of broadband applications and services.
The extension of NICE to E. Europe will help to create vital centres of expertise and new National Host organisations. This will make it easier for these countries to build broadband services for R&D in collaboration with organisations in Western Europe.
Programme Acronym
Subprogramme Area
High speed networking
Project URL
BELGIUM Belgacom Coordinator
ITALY Politecnico di Torino Partner
SPAIN Universidad Politecnica de Madrid Partner
FRANCE France Telecom CNET Partner
SPAIN Telefonica de Espana SA Partner
ITALY Universita' di Napoli Federico II Partner
GERMANY CSC Ploenzke AG Partner
SLOVENIA KPN Research Partner
-- System Investment Partner
NETHERLANDS Telenor AS Partner
AUSTRIA Bureau for International Research & Technology Cooperation Partner
AUSTRIA Johannes Kepler Universitšt Linz Partner
SWEDEN Swedish Insitute of Computer Science Partner
GREECE Thesa Ltd Partner
SWEDEN Swiss Telecom PTT Partner
RUSSIAN FEDERATION Institute of Organic Chemistry Partner
RUSSIAN FEDERATION Novosibirsk International Telecommunications Center Partner
RUSSIAN FEDERATION Yaroslavl State University Partner
BELGIUM Analytical Computing Center Partner
UKRAINE International Science Foundation Partner
BULGARIA Institute Jozef Stefan Center for Informatics & Computer Technology Partner
GREECE National Center for Scientific Research Demokritos Partner
GERMANY Deutsche Telekom Berkom Partner
BELGIUM Alcatel Bell Telephone Partner
ITALY Centro Studi e Laboratori Telecomunicazioni SpA (CSELT) Partner
PORTUGAL Portugal Telecom CET Partner
ICELAND Post and Telecom Iceland Partner
IRELAND North West Labs Ltd Partner

Cordis CORDIS RTD-PROJECTS/© European Communities, 1998