HEQEP Logo Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP)
A project of
University Grants Commission of Bangladesh
Ministry of Education, Bangladesh
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Raising the connectivity capacity for universities and research centers

DHAKA 6 May 2013: The Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP) aims at Raising the Connectivity Capacityi.e. connectivity capacity building for universities and research centers through the development of Bangladesh Research and Education Network (BdREN); The main activity under this component is to establish BdREN, a high performance information and communications network providing connectivity among higher education and research institutions in both public and private sectors. The network, with state-of-the-art network infrastructure and access to broadband internet connections at a reasonable price, will support geographically dispersed students, academics, scientists and researchers with reliable access to high-end computing, simulation tools and datasets. BdREN will also be connected with other regional and trans-continental Research and Education Networks (RENs) like TEIN 3. Thus it will link faculty and students of Bangladesh to the global academic community and learning resources. It will facilitate international collaborative research and will catalyze innovation in the country.

Under the HEQEP, BdREN will establish its key infrastructure including the Network Operating Center (NOC) and Points of Presences (POPs). It will also support the establishment of Basic Campus Networks (BCN) in number of universities that currently have no such local area networks.

The project will set up the NOC at UGC building Dhaka, and POPs in different locations in the country. The NOC will be equipped with essential equipment and technical staff for the operation and management of BdREN activities.  BdREN will lease the backbone physical infrastructure, like fiber appropriate providers and will develop a core network of multiple of gigabits per second capacity. Initially about one hundred institutions will be connected to this network.

BdREN Figure 4

Arrangements to conduct survey, design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the following systems are ongoing:

                                     I.        Transmission Network System

                                    II.        Data Network System

                                  III.        Data Center, Applications and Network Operations Center

                                   IV.        Video Conferencing System

                                    V.        Unified Communications Systems

The philosophy of BdREN is to build a scalable network, which can expand both in the reach (spread in the country) and speed. Setting up a common open network backbone, wherein different categories of users and applications shall be supported:

·         High Capacity, Highly Scalable Backbone

·         Provide Quality of Service and Security

·         Wide Geographical Coverage

·         Common Standard Platform

·         Highly Reliable and Available by Design

·         Test beds ( for various implementation)

·         Dedicated and Owned

The countrywide network shall be built over mainly the dark fiber (Optical Ground Wire, OPGW) network of Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB).  For building the countrywide network of BdREN, University Grants Commission of Bangladesh (UGC) and PGCB has signed an IRU (Indefeasible Right of Use) Contract whereby, UGC will enjoy the right to use one pair of dark fiber up to each Substation / Endpoints of PGCB over the entire country for 20 years. The last mile connectivity / local loop from the PGCB endpoints (Substations) to the Universities and/or PoP (Point of Presences) shall be over leased fiber from the fiber providers / Nationwide Telecommunications Transmission.

BdREN Figure 1


Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) shall be the foundation of the network enabling the following features and capabilities.

                                     I.        Provider Provisioned Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

                                    II.        Traffic Engineering

                                  III.        Any Transport over MPLS

                                   IV.        MPLS Layer 3 VPNs

                                    V.        Per VPN QoS

                                   VI.        MPLS Layer 2 VPNs

                                 VII.        Layer 2 Extension / Pseudo wire

                               VIII.        Multicast VPNs

BdREN Figure 2

BdREN Figure 3Architecturally BdREN is a multi-tier network divided into three basic layers - Core, Distribution, and Access. BdREN backbone will typically have 2 Core at Dhaka and around 8 Distribution PoPs. The whole network shall be divided into 5  zones – the central zone shall be served by 4 PoPs in Dhaka, UGC, BUET, Bashundhara and National University/Open University (NU/OU) in Dhaka. Other zones shall be served by Chittagong University, Rajshahi University, Khulna University of Engineering & Technology (KUET) and Sylhet Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) PoPs. The PoPs shall have dual 10 G connectivity, one at UGC and the other at BUET (please see fig: 5). These connections shall be through the backbone transmission network (fig : 6). Client universities shall be connected to the distribution PoPs.  Some universities shall be connected to the network by a daisy chain, or ring type of connectivity wherever possible.

The two Core Routers at Core PoPs in two locations at Dhaka will be interconnected over a Layer-2 10 Gbps link and will be virtualized for resiliency against network outages and protection of member routers against access link failures, uplink failures, and chassis failures without visibly disrupting attached subscribers or increasing the network management burden. The Core PoPs will be connecting to distribution PoPs, which are spread across seven locations over 10 Gbps link. The enduser institutions connecting to respective PoPs (Core or Distribution) will operate at speeds of 1 Gbps per connection. The last mile connection to the respective institute shall be over multiple links in a protected path.


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