There are more than 1000 users connected on ERNET. The ERNET users are using the network for accessing Internet. ERNET is also providing MPLS VPN to some of the users. The VPN allows ERNET to provide value added services to its users such as VC in closed user group. For running the value added services the ERNET backbone is used.
The ERNET POPs are interconnected by point to point leased circuits taken from basic services providers. These points-to-points leased circuits are called backbone links of ERNET. These links are used for exchange of intra POP traffic, value added services and for providing access to global research networks to ERNET users. The intra POP traffic of ERNET is carried over the backbone. The speeds of existing backbone links are not enough to meet the growing internal traffic needs of - user institutes. It is major bottleneck in providing value added services to all the users and providing access to global research networks.
National Knowledge Network (NKN) is being implemented by National Informatics Centre (NIC). The mandate of NKN is to merge all the existing networks and provide a common high speed backbone by providing MPLS cloud to each user group. It had been proposed to migrate the existing ERNET backbone to NKN. The bandwidth of proposed backbone of ERNET overlaid over NKN will be 1 Gbps. It will allow ERNET to overcome bandwidth congestion and provide additional services for benefit of the users.