A new transatlantic network opening in January is the first of numerous high-speed intercontinental connections that will be needed in the years ahead as scientific facilities under construction around the world begin generating enormous amounts of information for analysis.

The transatlantic extension of ESnet, the US Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, is designed to benefit data-intensive scientific collaborations at US national laboratories and universities. Its initial application will be moving data from experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which is set to resume operations in April 2015. Brookhaven National Laboratory and Fermilab will continue as the primary computing centers for US collaborators in the LHC’s ATLAS and CMS experiments.

The intercontinental network will provide an aggregate capacity of 340 gigabits per second by making more efficient use of existing undersea cables. That compares with the approximately 60-Gbps link that had been available up to now. Apart from the...

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