SURF's network infrastructure provides the education and research sector with opportunities to pursue successful collaboration on the basis of ICT. This includes both fixed and wireless connections.

Sharing knowledge and collaboration

Researchers need a quick and reliable way to share large quantities of data, both nationally and internationally, over a fixed network or via a wireless link. Students want to be able to collaborate securely online with their peers, both within their own educational institution and outside it. SURF's network infrastructure offers all this and more. 


In more than 12,000 locations across the Netherlands and in other countries, researchers, staff and students use eduroam to quickly and easily gain secure access to the fixed and wireless network of their own institution and other institutions that offer eduroam. However, rapid technological developments in wireless devices have increased the amount of work involved for institutions in managing the campus' WiFi connection. This prompted SURF to launch SURFwireless (WiFi as a Service) in 2016.

Over 11,000 km of optical fibres and more than enough bandwidth

Every day, almost 1 million people have access to the 11,000-plus kilometres of optical fibres in the SURFnet network for national and international connections. All of these connections are redundantly configured. The connections between the core locations are illuminated by optical equipment that can illuminate the fibre-optic connections at a maximum of 88 different wavelengths. Since each wavelength can transport as much as 100 Gbit/s of data, the network offers more than enough bandwidth for collaboration projects between educational institutions, data-intensive research projects and ICT applications.

International links 

Through the SURFnet network, connected institutions can easily set up links with institutions in other parts of the world. The SURFnet network is directly connected to other research networks and commercial players through a number of cross border fibres and transatlantic light path connections. International links can also easily be set up through SURFnet's open light path exchange NetherLight and the pan-European education and research network GÉANT.

Constantly developing

The fixed SURFnet network has provided a reliable platform for all network activities performed by our connected institutions since 1988. The network is configured to meet the network connectivity requirements of educational and research institutions. These institutions are placing ever more stringent demands on the network. As a result, SURF is constantly refining the network. SURFnet7 has been operational since 2014, allowing institutions to configure light paths more flexibly using the Multi Service Port. At the moment, we are working on the implementation of SURFnet8. Also, SURFwireless is being further developed.


Important applications that are part of the SURFnet network include:

More information

Latest modifications 27 Nov 2017