JANET – the first 25 years

Joint event with the Computer Conservation Society.

Tuesday 22nd September 2009, 2:00 pm.

Speakers: Bob Day, Roland Rosner and Shirley Wood.

University of Edinburgh Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB - map (click on Informatics Forum in the list of buildings).

This event is free of charge. Refreshments available in the Atrium after the event.


What is JANET? Certainly it is a communications network. But to many, perhaps depending on the perspective of the individual, it is more: a concept, a community, a variety of services, and a part of UK education and research life.

JANET facilitates a range of activities that let individuals and organisations push back the traditional boundaries of teaching, learning and research methods. For example, JANET’s videoconferencing and video streaming capabilities are being used to deliver lectures to remote groups of students, while for researchers the capacity of the JANET backbone allows the linking of large data storage and high-performance computing facilities at a national and international level.

In 25 years JANET has moved from a network serving 60 universities and research councils running at 9.6kbit/s to a multi-gigabit, multi-service network connecting 18 million users covering research, higher education, further education and schools. It has become a critical part of the education and research community in the UK.

This seminar will cover the challenges through the years creating and growing a single UK computer network, the widening community, and major steps in JANET’s development.

JANET – Introduction, Bob Day, CTO JANET(UK)
JANET conception and creation, Roland Rosner
JANET – The early years, Shirley Wood, JANET(UK)
JANET and the move to a multi service network, Bob Day, JANET(UK)

The talks will take around 2 hours, followed by questions and discussion.

About the speakers


Bob Day is Chief Technology Officer of JANET(UK) and has been responsible for many of the architectural and policy developments within JANET. Particular interests have been the development of acceptable use, connection and charging policies, and of the roles of Regional Networks as both customer and service provider within the overall JANET model.


Shirley Wood is JANET(UK)'s Head of Communications and Support. Shirley has been responsible for the creation of the support services offered by the company including the JANET service desk, training courses and information dissemination to the customers. She previously worked on systems support and on user support issues related to the network both JANET and its predecessor.


Roland Rosner was head of the original Joint Network Team back in the late 1970s and early eighties and was responsible for the strategy that led to the creation of JANET in 1984. Since then he has been a stalwart supporter both of JANET and more generally of collaborative networking within the higher education sector.