The IAC initiates a market survey which will strengthen La Palma’s digital connectivity

Vista general del Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (Garafía, La Palma). Crédito: Getty Images

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The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has published a preliminary market study requesting information for the development of the project “Redundancy in the Maritime Optical Network of RedIRIS”, which it undertook following the resolution approved by the Secretariat of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures (SETLECO) in November of 2021. The project will be financed by the “NextGenerationEU” fund within its programm of investment related to Digital Connextivity driven by cybersecurity and the rollout of 5G” of the Plan of Recovery, Transformation and Resilience (PRTR) of the Spanish Government. The request for information can be found onf the Profile of the contractor to the IAC and reponses can be made by interested operators and economic agents until April 13th 2022. 

The investment funded by the PRTR was announced by Vice-president Nadia Calviño when she visited the Island of La Palma in November 2021 during the volcano crisis. The project will be a driving force for the island's reconstruction based on innovation and knowledge, and it will enhance the connectivity of the Canary archipelago by attracting projects to develop new routes of digital connection of the islands with the European continent. The new infrastructures for connectivity will favour the resilience of the economy of the Autonomous Community and the access of its citizens to digital services for the development of their personal and professional activities. In addition, they will offer new opportunities to the society of La Palma to promote the recovery of the island.

The project will improve the current connectivity of the IAC with other academic and research instituttions as well as its internet links, that is supported by a latest generation optical network operated by RedIRIS. The aim of the project is to provide redundancy in the maritime links,  and to permit continuity in the operation of all the installations of the observatories without any worsening in the services if there is a failure or disaster. The request for information will allow for a better knowledge and understanding of the possible alternatives for the implementation of the project.

The project “Redundancy in the Optical Maritime Network of RedIRIS” will be complemented by other actions of the PRTR which will strengthen the capacity and redundance of the digital connexion routes in the islands of La Palma and Tenerife, increasing the connectivity between the observatories and the sea level headquarters of the IAC. The progressive automation of the observing instruments and the exponential growth in the volumen of the data they generate make avanced telecommunications one of the principal factors in decisons about the siting of future telescopes and instruments of the latest generation such as the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) and other projects under development. This set of actions will enable to IAC to continue carrying out its role of a lever to empower research and technological development in the astrophysical field in Spain.

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