EPSRC National Dark Fibre Infrastructure Service (NDFIS)

Location of Facility

EPSRC National Dark Fibre Infrastructure Service (NDFIS) is a 650 km single mode dark fibre network interconnecting access points at four universities: Bristol, Cambridge, Southampton and UCL. There are two major colocation sites: London Telehouse and Reading. London Harbour Exchange provides an interconnection point with European research networks.

Capabilities and services provided

Dark fibre is optical fibre that users can access at the optical data level, rather than the electrical data level as in conventional communications networks. Access at the optical level enables users to experiment with novel communication techniques, such as software defined networks (SDN) with control of the physical layer (OSI Layer 1), Network Function Virtualisation (NFV), new transmission techniques, such as flexgrid and all-optical regeneration and quantum communication. NDFIS offers programmable transmission parameters, dynamic reconfiguration into multiple sub-networks and the ability to handle multiple transmission formats simultaneously.

As well as supporting research on the future core optical network, which underpins the internet, NDFIS also enables research with experimental metro networks, such as the Gigabit Bristol network. NDFIS can also support research on wireless backhaul networks for future Wireless Systems such as 5G.

NDFIS provides a key resource to researchers developing the wireless and optical communications networks that will underpin the future internet.

Contact for access

Research Areas aligned to facility