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Проект Виртуальный шелковый путь

Virtual Silk Highway Project

Virtual Silk Highway

The Great Silk Road was historically not only a trading route, but also an important route for transfering information and exchanging knowledge resulting in the mutual enrichment of cultures between the major regions of the world. The new international telecommunication project "The Virtual Silk Highway" sets as its purpose to increase information exchange between academic communities in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Europe on the basis of advanced satellite technology, effective access to the Internet and to European scientific and educational networks. Thusly, this telecommunication project will allow for the creation of a Virtual high-speed Silk Road of information and to integrate the academic computer networks of our countries into global information space.

Due to a lack of financial investment, last year's development of the Internet in Kyrgyzstan within the sphere of education and science was hindered of satellite channels, access to the Internet, and an absence of a sufficient number of fiber-optic cables connected to the Internet. Therefore data speed for internet access for universities was highly limited and did not satisfy growing requirements. In January Kyrgyzstan will begin the "Virtual Silk Highway" project, of NATO's Scientific Program. This will allow for high-speed access to information resources on the Internet for the academic community of Kyrgyzstan, resulting in a greater development of education and science in the country. This will occur as a result of expanded Internet access which will eventually help to reduce the "digital divide" between the industrially developed and developing countries.

1. The concept of the project

The academic communities of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and the Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia) will be connected to the Internet, and to European scientific and educational networks via a unified satellite channel. This technology allows for each country to have a minimal bandwidth of frequencies on the satellite and at the same time allowing for the shared use of collectively unused capacity in the satellite channels of all participating countries in the project. For example, using time zone divisions, the countries of Central Asia can use the capacity of the satellite channels of Transcaucasia in the morning, and in the evening the countries of Transcaucasia can take advantage of unused capacity of the satellite channels of Central Asia. In addition, the loads on satlitle channels will be reduced via the use of modern techniques of caching on cache-servers with high capacity memory.

The configuration of the Silk Highway project consists of satellite aerials and communication equipment in the eight countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, connected through the satellite EurasiaSat via a central hub in Western Europe (Hamburg, Germany) consisitng of a satellite aerial, communication equipment and access to the Internet, is shown in fig.1.

Fig.1 A schematic display of satellite communication between VSATs in each country and the Operational Center of the Network in Hamburg, Germany

The Silk Highway project is highly cost effective reducing the cost of internet access for the academic communities of participating countries. Compiling the satelite channel capacity for access to the Internet for all eight countries will lower the cost on data transmission for 1Mbs/s during the period of the grant. The Scientific Program of NATO spent 2.5 million dollars to purchase the equipment and the satellite channel capacity until the end of 2004. The SISKO corporation provided the communication equipment for the participanting countries, and the German center for syncronizing data and communications (DESY) is incharge of the Operational Center network in Hamburg (Germany). The capacity of the satellite channel under the project will increase through each half-year along with the gradual connection of new participating countries (fig.2).

Fig. 2: Growth capacity for the satellite data link under the Silk Highway project for six months