Upon completing 20 years, the Corporation is integrated by 30 institutions, including Chilean universities, as is the case of the U. de La Serena, world-class research centers and astronomical observatories.
National University Network, REUNA, emerged as a collaborative initiative among Chilean universities. And it was born under the dream of a group of universities that wanted to cross the borders of the country to link with peer institutions in the world. That longing was finally reached, on Wednesday 13 of July of 1994, when in the Official Gazette it was published: "Grant legal personality to the entity called the National University Network, which may also use the acronym REUNA".
REUNA defined its road map as a pioneer in the promotion and development of communication and collaboration networks with its Internet connection, made at the beginning of 90's. In fact, it was the earliest implementation of the Internet in the continent, which later led to the establishment of the first and most important Internet service provider (ISP), and the creation of the Internet service industry in the country. Probably those who passed through the university classrooms in the nineties will remember the emails @ reuna.cl.
In the same role as leader in Information and Communication Technologies, the 2000 REUNA year made Chile the first South American country to connect to Internet2, the Academic Network of the United States. It was also one of the continent's networks that promoted the creation of the Latin America Network, RedCLARA, generated so that the countries of the region could connect efficiently with each other, and with the rest of the world.
A couple of years ago, REUNA's digital platform expanded its capacity eight times, giving a significant technological leap. This improvement meant that today it has a capacity that goes between 1Gbps and 2,5Gbps in its national trunk and 1,5 Gbps international. This update was made in anticipation of the growing needs of its members and the entry of astronomical centers present in the country, which have assessed the quality of management and evolution of the Corporation. As expected, connectivity demands will continue to increase, especially considering that the 2018, Chile will concentrate the 75% of the astronomical facilities in the world.
In Santiago, at the end of 2012, Chile's first Photonic Network for science and education was put into operation. The network is named for its completely optical management of information. In its initial stage, this platform has a capacity of 30 Gbps, distributed on a high-speed digital highway and has the potential to reach in aggregate form up to 1.28 Tera-bits (1.28 million Megas). The Photonic Network is part of the National High Performance Computing Laboratory (NLHPC) project, and its objective is to unite the super computing clusters of different universities with the supercomputer installed in the Mathematical Modeling Center (CMM-UChile). Like astronomy, high-performance computing is a field of research that is demanding high connectivity capabilities.
With this new configuration, REUNA became the second network in the region with capacities up to 2,5 Gbps, after RNP in Brazil, being at the same level as large networks such as Internet 2 (USA), AARNET (Australia) and GEANT (Europe). This achievement was achieved thanks to the commitment of the partners and without the state contributions that other networks have. In most countries, academic networks are considered public goods that are fundamental for the development of science and education in the knowledge society.
In these two decades of management, the Corporation has not only made important advances in infrastructure. REUNA understands that science and higher education are done in a collaborative and interdisciplinary manner, and that many technological resources are shared. That's why it has focused on designing a digital platform and services that facilitate collaboration between people, such as videoconferencing, streaming and eduroam.
In addition, in response to its mission, the Corporation has also worked for the academic and research communities to enrich their work through networking. Since its inception, REUNA has promoted e-Science in Chile, the use of the advanced academic network for collaborative work between scientists and academics nationally and internationally, while promoting the sharing of high-cost resources.
When fulfilling 20 years, the Corporation is integrated by 30 institutions, among them Chilean universities, world-class research centers and astronomical observatories. The challenge is to continue adding communities that share the dream of contributing to the development of science, education and culture in Chile. The goal is also to continue improving the digital platform, to reach all corners of the country where there is a scientist, academic or student.