Implementation optical layer SURFnet8

In 2016 the tendering process for the optical layer was completed. ECI Telecom will provide the new optical layer for the SURFnet network. In 2017 we will implement this new optical layer.

Dual-phase implementation

The upgrading of the physical SURFnet network has been split into 2 phases. The first phase is the implementation of the optical layer, which illuminates the optical fibres. The optical layer forms the basis of the SURFnet network and delivers transport functionality to the service layer. With the new optical layer from ECI Telecom, 100 Gbit/s transport capacity will be the standard and 400 Gbit/s will be possible.

As soon as the implementation of the optical layer is completed, we will start on the service layer. This contains the hardware that we use to offer services to institutions.

About the implementation process

We will migrate the optical layer by branch - a chain of locations between 2 major hubs in the network. Taking a branch-based approach means that the implementation process will take a little longer but, that way, we avoid temporary interruptions to institutions' connections. When work is being carried out in a branch, there will be loss of resilience in part of the network. The institutions will be informed about this well in advance. By working mainly during the day and migrating on a location-by-location basis, we keep loss of resilience to a minimum. We're in control during the work. In the event of increased impact as a result of problems elsewhere in the network, the connections can be recovered quickly and easily.


The engineers have been in training as preparation for the implementation process. On Friday, June 9th, we have deployed a 400 Gbit/s connection between Breda and Utrecht. With this link we have tested ECI’s Apollo platform on a new optical fibre that was not yet in use.  At the end of June we started installing the new equipment. In the night of 22 August, we migrated the first branch in the production network; Zwolle to Nijmegen via Deventer, Apeldoorn and Arnhem. At the moment, we are preparing to migrate the second branch; Zwolle to Nijmegen via Enschede. In addition, we are currently installing the new equipment at many locations.

More information

Please contact:

Thijs van der Horst

Project manager Network

  • +31-887873000
  • This email address is protected. Please activate JavaScript to view it.
Latest modifications 10 Oct 2017