NetherLight: open light path exchange

NetherLight, SURF's open light path exchange, makes it easy to set up light paths with collaborative partners both in the Netherlands and abroad. NetherLight can also be used to connect service providers, so they can be accessed using light paths..

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Applying for NetherLight

National and international institutions, businesses and service providers can connect to the NetherLight open light path exchange via fibre-optic connections.

You can join NetherLight by establishing a fibre-optic connection using one of the many connection technologies that are supported by NetherLight. As soon as you're connected to NetherLight, you can create reciprocal links with all the other parties that have joined NetherLight. 

Preparing for connection

What do you need to connect to the NetherLight open light path exchange?

Check who is connected

Firstly, you should check whether the parties you want to connect to can be accessed through NetherLight. It may be that the party you want to connect to belongs to one of the target group networks. You can ask the party concerned about this, but NetherLight can help you too. Simply send an e-mail to

Find out what colocation facilities are required

If you need space for your equipment, contact Interxion or Equinix AM7 colocation services. They can provide you with details of the facilities that they offer.

Install a fibre-optic link

The fibre-optic links for your connection must end in one of NetherLight's locations.

Connection technologies 

Your equipment must support one of the following connection technologies:

  • Optical 1000BASE-LX (1310 nm)
  • Optical 1000BASE-SX (850 nm)
  • Optical 10GBASE-LR (1310 nm LAN PHY)
  • Optical 100GBASE-LR4 
  • Optical 100GBASE-CWDM4
  • Optical 400GBASE-FR4
  • Optical 400GBASE-LR4
Reciprocal link

A reciprocal link is a link within NetherLight's equipment that enables a light path to be created between the parties. Where a reciprocal link is between two or more connected parties, all the parties involved must agree to the reciprocal link that has been requested. Once you're connected to NetherLight, you should send requests for reciprocal links to
Once the light path has been established, the NetherLight NOC will notify the connected parties that the light path can be used.

Before you can use NetherLight, you must complete the application form and sign the connection agreement.

Application form

Complete the NetherLight application form. SURF will then contact you to carry out a technical check. During this check, your technical staff will work with their counterparts at NetherLight, and discuss the technical implementation of your connection to NetherLight.

Connection agreement 

SURF will then send you the connection agreement for NetherLight. Sign and return the connection agreement. Work on implementing your connection cannot begin until you have signed this agreement. View the template of the NetherLight agreement (PDF).

The NetherLight NOC will contact you to agree the details and date and time of your connection.

Service Level Specification

The Service Level Specification (SLS) for NetherLight serves as a reference for users and IT managers with regard to service provision. The SLS defines service parameters, such as KPIs, that relate exclusively to the NetherLight service domain.

Download the NetherLight Service Level Specification (PDF)

Already connected to a participating network?

If you already have a connection to a network that is connected to NetherLight, you may be able to set up a link through this network. In that case, you won't need to have your own connection to NetherLight. For example, education and research institutions that are connected to the SURF network via a Multi Service Port (MSP) can connect directly to a party that has joined NetherLight. See an overview of NetherLight partners here.


Charges for connection to NetherLight

The charges for participation in NetherLight are as follows:

  • 1 Gbit/s connection: EUR 250 per month, exclusive of VAT
  • 10 Gbit/s connection: EUR 500 per month, exclusive of VAT
  • 100 Gbit/s connection: EUR 1,600 per month, exclusive of VAT
  • 400 Gbit/s connection: EUR 3,000 per month, exclusive of VAT

If you want to use a redundant configuration across both NetherLight locations, you'll need to purchase two ports at each location.

Once you're connected, it's easy to expand

With NetherLight, you can set up reliable connectivity via light paths for every conceivable application. And, since NetherLight is a light path hub, you can easily add light paths without having to invest in a new connection. More on use after connection.