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..

Man met ipad met beeld van conferencecall op de achtergrond

The European hub for international light paths

The NetherLight open light path exchange is the European hub for international light paths within the Research and Education Networks community.

Connect to NetherLight for:

  • Fast international connections to Geneva, London, Paris, Hamburg, New York and Chicago, to name but a few
  • 100 en 400 Gbit/s transatlantic light path connectivity for research and education
  • Fast light path setup to IT service providers

Who is it for?

The NetherLight open light path exchange is operated by SURF and can be joined by any party to connect to an unlimited number of other participating parties. NetherLight is for:

The (international) education and research community

Connect with other (research) networks worldwide. Education and research organizations with a Multi Service Port (MSP) can use the bandwidth available on this MSP to quickly set up a connection to partners on NetherLight.

Providers of services such as IaaS and storage

Through just one connection to NetherLight, as a cloud provider you are connected to a range of different networks, including the SURF network for education and research.

Why NetherLight?

Excellent connectivity with networks abroad

NetherLight has direct links with Chicago, New York, London, Barcelona, Prague, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Moscow, Thuwal (Saudi Arabia), Taipei and Seoul, to name but a few. Other National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) also have a fibre-optic connection to NetherLight, creating a wealth of opportunities for interconnection. These fast connections are available to institutions from the education and research community.

High-speed links for research

NetherLight can also be used for high-speed research links both in the Netherlands and abroad. SURF and NetherLight have a wealth of experience of sharing expensive tools or big data with third parties via light paths.

NetherLight is an innovative light path exchange

NetherLight uses the latest technology and is a world leader in this field: NetherLight was the first platform in the world to enable on-demand light paths and the world's first 100 Gbit/s intercontinental connection was established through NetherLight.

More information

Watch the video on NetherLight:

Join NetherLight

Contact us

Education and research institutions 

For further information on light paths to service providers or international light paths, please contact SURF Customer Support at

Service providers

For further information on offering your service via NetherLight, please contact Alexander van den Hil (see contact details at the bottom of this page).


SURF is a co-founder of the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX). The AMS-IX started out as an initiative between researchers and is now one of the largest exchange platforms for IP traffic in the world. SURF's aim is to make NetherLight as successful for light paths as the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) is for IP connections.