Lebanese Research and Education Network
In Lebanon, the traditional NREN approach of creating first the network and subsequently building in services to create momentum and facilitate cooperation among participating universities proved impractical – not least against the backdrop of prohibitive bandwidth tariffs and competing communal and political interests.
It was clear that the process needed to be reversed to secure the commitment of a critical mass of institutions across the country. Instead of trying to build the physical network to facilitate collaboration among the research and education institutions, the universities in Lebanon decided to start collaborating first so that they can build the services, and eventually a network.
Thus, taking the services development road was the answer, with value-added services such as eduroam and eduGAIN being deployed successfully and at low cost in 2015 across multiple institutions in the country. In 2016, Lebanon established for the first time access to international R&E connectivity: with support from GÉANT and the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN).
This collaboration has led to the establishment Lebanon’s NREN. On 28 May 2018, the American University of Beirut (AUB), the Beirut Arab University (BAU), the Lebanese American University (LAU), Holy Spirit University Kaslik (USEK) and the University of Saint Joseph (USJ)— signed the Technology Cooperation Agreement for Research and Education (TechCARE), taking a significant step on the rather complex journey towards the creation of a NREN in the country. Since then, TechCARE has grown to 7 universities that include Notre Dame University (NDU), and Balamand University.