Universities set up on-line link with mainland

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 April, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 April, 1997, 12:00am

A direct on-line link has been established between universities in Hong Kong and China to help foster academic ties and research.

In the past, data traffic had to pass through an information hub in the United States, which made communication costly and ineffective.

Now Dragon Link has connected the Hong Kong Academic and Research Network (Harnet) and the China Education and Research Network (Cernet) through a 64 kilobits-per-second leased line.

City University in Hong Kong and Tsinghua University in Beijing are the main service centres in the two cities.

They are responsible for the administration and technical support of the Dragon Link.

Director of City University's computing services K H Poon said it would spend $500,000 a year on the link, with most of that being spent on leasing the line.

Vice-president (institutional advancement) of City University Professor Enoch Young said the next step was to upgrade the speed of communication and to administer the operation of the network properly to prevent abuses of the link.

It has been deemed strictly for academic rather than commercial purposes.

Harnet is a wide-area network which links the campus networks of eight tertiary institutions in Hong Kong via a dedicated T1 link at 1.544 Mbps.

The Harnet hub is at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where the network also is linked to the US via an E1 international circuit at 2.048 Mbps.

Cernet, the first government-sponsored nationwide academic computer network in China, is based in Beijing and links almost 100 mainland universities.

It is connected to the US, Hong Kong and Japan, and will soon be hooked up to German institutions.

MONEY SAVER Over 100 colleges involved in network System to be quicker, cheaper Cuts out hub in US