Beyond Connectivity

an invitation from the Programme Committee

The TERENA Networking Conference 2008 is organised by the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association and hosted by BELNET, the Belgian national research and educational network.

This year the conference goes to Bruges, a lively city in the Flemish part of Belgium, offering a balanced combination of history and progress. Conference participants will enjoy one of the world's best-preserved medieval cities while being able to use all their usual network gear at full speed.

As a real old-timer of TERENA conferences, having participated in them since 1995, my experience is that TERENA Networking Conferences are unique. Practitioners, developers, planners and users in the research and education networking community share and discuss the current and future course of technologies, policies and practices with prominent figures from industry, research and government. Here they build common consensus and collaborative links in Europe and beyond.

In earlier years, connectivity was the main concern of national research networking organisations: in many cases, a simple successful ping was enough to make heads nod in approval. We have gone much further since then: fast, pervasive, mobile, safe and dependable connectivity has become commonplace. Now we are exploring beyond connectivity.

I have the honour to chair a Programme Committee that has posed seven basic questions - the answers will indicate the directions in which technologies and policies will evolve.

I am very proud and happy to invite you to bring your answers to these questions and to gather at TNC 2008 in Bruges to discuss them and to contribute to shaping the landscape of global research and education networking.

signature diego lopez

Diego R. Lopez
Programme Committee Chair