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

Research projects

A wide range of research projects use NetherLight for fast, secure links with a high bandwidth.

Remote microscopy demonstration at FEI

In August 2010, SURF used NetherLight to create a light path from FEI in Eindhoven to Rio de Janeiro for a conference on microscopy. This international light path allowed microscopy equipment in Eindhoven to be managed and demonstrated from Rio de Janeiro, a distance of some 16,000 kilometres.


e-VLBI, or electronic Very Long Baseline Interferometry, uses fibre-optic networks to connect radio telescopes to a central data processor, a specially designed supercomputer that correlates data from the telescopes in real time.
When data is electronically transferred and correlated in real time, there is no need to wait weeks, as is the case with the existing VLBI method, where data is recorded and shipped to the JIVE correlator for processing. This way, researchers can use Targets of Opportunity to observe transient events such as supernova explosions and gamma-ray bursts.


CineGrid wants to build an interdisciplinary community that is focused on the research, development and demonstration of networked collaborative tools to enable the production, use, storage and exchange of very-high-quality digital media over optical networks. NetherLight facilitates this initiative by providing international light paths, for example to display high-resolution 4K video images in collaboration with CineGrid partners. Learn more about CineGrid

Large Hadron Collider Optical Private Network

NetherLight actively participates in the LHCOPN (Large Hadron Collider Optical Private Network). This network allows large quantities of research data from CERN to be distributed to Tier 1 data centres all over the world.
As one of the exchange platforms within LHCOPN, NetherLight facilitates light paths from CERN to Nikhef/SARA (NL-T1), the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), DE-KIT (Germany), the Nordic DataGrid Facility (NDGF), TRIUMF (Canada) and ASGC (Taiwan).