Yorkshire MAN speeds info ahead of time

A fast, technologically advanced Pounds 2.5 million computer network, linking eight universities in six Yorkshire cities, is nearing completion ahead of schedule. The Yorkshire and Humberside Metropolitan Area Network (YHMAN) will link the universities of Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, York, Hull and Huddersfield with Sheffield Hallam and Leeds Metropolitan universities, at speeds of up to 155 million bits per second - about ten times faster than their existing connections.

YHMAN, financed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Joint Information Systems Committee and managed by the University of Leeds, will encourage and support collaboration in learning, teaching and research. The universities, all members of the Yorkshire and Humberside Universities Association (YHUA) which initiated the project, hope that it will give the region a tangible technological lead, enabling them to boost their contribution to regional economic development. Students, teachers and researchers will be able to take part in expanded part-time and distance learning programmes in line with the Dearing Report's recommendations on lifelong learning and regional co-operation.

The network, using ATM and SDH technology, takes the form of a ring, with York and Hull universities on direct spurs from Leeds. YHMAN also provides 155Mbps access to SuperJANET 3 through Leeds. Five universities are connected, with Leeds Metropolitan, York and Hull set to join very soon. The network has been supplied by General Telecom, Cable and Wireless Communications, and Cabletel Kirklees.

One expected use in which there is much interest is the development of "virtual labs", giving students and researchers access to a virtual environment in which to do experiments without fear of failure, to share equipment and learning resources generally (especially multimedia resources), and to enjoy high quality teaching - without taking up any extra physical space.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Man measuring bar graphs with tape measure

An Elsevier analysis explores the viability of a ‘smarter and cheaper’ model

  • David Willetts

The former universities minister discusses the reforms that reshaped higher education and his first steps into academia

  • Man holding a box filled with work-related items

Refusal by John Allen to obey instruction from manager at Queen Mary University of London led to his sacking, tribunal rules

  • Unlocked open door

Publisher’s open access policy unleashes public display of disagreement

  • A black and white crowd scene with a few people highlighted

What are the key issues local union branches are dealing with, and how do they manage relationships with institutions in what many activists argue is an increasingly confrontational environment?