Education and research network JANET is getting a speed boost following the signing of a contract with Verizon for ultra-fast broadband, running at up to 100Gbps (gigabits per second).

The JANET network connects the UK's academic community, helping teachers and students at universities, colleges, schools and research councils to access and share information, including text, images and video.

The Verizon network overhaul will allow greater collaboration between academic institutions. Jeremy Sharp, head of JANET (UK)'s strategic technologies division, said, "We are widely recognised as having a critical role to play in the UK's future economic prosperity.

"At a time when research and education is being asked to do more with less, this is a great example of how technology can not only be innovative, but also power innovation."

Verizon and JANET had previously conducted trials of 100Gbps connectivity as far back as 2009. Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena and Juniper Networks were also involved in the current network upgrade.

JANET recently announced that it would be providing remote mobile access to academic and support staff through an agreement with the 3 mobile network.

The 3G mobile service is being provided by telecoms operator aql using the 3 network. Using connectivity through mobile dongle devices or tablet SIMs, academic and support staff will be able to remotely access resources such as research data, virtual learning environments and library catalogues whilst on the move.