A new €2m experimental communication network is being launched today to drive research here.

The "Open Ireland" project is backed by the Science Foundation Ireland funded CONNECT centre, based at Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

The network will be comprised of a dedicated fibre connection between TCD and Dublin City University in Glasnevin. 

Macro and small wireless cells will also be used to provide radio coverage. 

"This is a game-changer for networks research in Ireland," said Dr Marco Ruffini, Associate Professor in Optical Network Architectures in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity who will manage the network.

"It will allow us to explore real-world situations outside the traditional laboratory environment, and it will open up the full span of the communications network  wireless radio, optical fibre, and data centres for testing," he said. 

Professor Linda Doyle, Dean of Research at Trinity College Dublin, said for the first time researchers here will be able to conduct research across a range of different network types.

"This will be a significant support for applications for major European funding awards, and will enhance the national research ecosystem by providing opportunities for further collaboration between industry and academia," she said.