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FCT presented new generation RCTS

Inauguration of the New Generation RCTS

The FCT, through the FCCN Unit, held on 16 February, at the Pavilhão do Conhecimento, the "Inauguration of the New Generation RCTS" session, which marked the conclusion of the RCTS100 project.

The RCTS100 project, completed by the end of 2022, was launched in October 2017 to build a next- generation national education and research network, making it possible to extend the optical fibre infrastructure of the Science, Technology and Society Network (RCTS) and ensure its technological upgrade. This project upgraded the internal networks of nine public higher education institutions and met the challenge of the digital divide.

With a total investment of 17 million euros, 13 of which came from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), RCTS100 has set an ambitious goal of strengthening research, technological development, and innovation.

A network with national impact

"We support not only the Portuguese higher education system and the national science and technology system, but also the connectivity of schools of the Ministry of Education and the organic units of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education," explains the director of the Network Services Area of the FCCN Unit, Ana Pinto.

Therefore, the technological upgrade promoted by the RCTS100 project directly impacts several communities, from the higher education and science and technology system, but also communities of a more administrative nature, linked to the ministry, and non-higher education community.

Given this very broad coverage of the national education and research network, this project guarantees a technological upgrade with national repercussion.

Response to digital divides

The impact of RCTS100 is not limited to the activation of new routes of the optical fiber infrastructure and the upgrade of connections of several higher education institutions across the country. Thanks to this project, it was also possible to create new rings in the network, in order to make it more scalable, both in terms of the number of services provided and in increasing redundancy and resilience to failure.

On the other hand, by standardizing access to fiber and activating an optical transmission system with national coverage, it was possible to ensure identical conditions of access to the network, regardless of the location of the entity. At this moment, RCTS teaching and research entities can already access multiple services at 100Gbps, regardless of their geographic location. Responding to the challenge of the digital divide [asymmetries felt, in different parts of the country, regarding the available connectivity services] is, therefore, another of the characteristics that make this project strategic for national scientific and technological development.

Over the past few months, the FCCN Unit has been sharing the testimony of those responsible for several of these RCTS entities, through its blog. "The connection of Guarda Polytechnic to the national teaching and research network at 100Gpbs is essential to meet the needs", highlights the coordinator of the Computer Center of Guarda Polytechnic, João Paulo Valbom. The same idea is shared by the president of the Polytechnic of Viseu, José dos Santos Costa: "The connection of the Polytechnic of Viseu to the national network of teaching and research at 100Gpbs is extremely important".

Learn more about RCTS100 here.