* About: Access to Research Networks

Overview | Who can use it | How to request & access | Cost | Availability | FAQs | Best practices & policies | Training & documentation | Support

Service overview

Some research projects may require high-bandwidth connectivity to external sites.

By default, all researchers at McGill have access to the commercial Internet, and may also use:

IT Services can help you choose which of the above networks best meets your network bandwidth and connectivity needs.

For researchers who wish to use a lightpath, we can help:

Who can use it

McGill researchers with high-bandwidth computing needs (i.e. >1Gbps on a guaranteed basis) for activities such as:

How to request & access the service

Contact the Manager, Network Infrastructure to discuss your network needs.


For IT-provided services
IT Services will provide a quote to McGill researchers upon determining costs for equipment and fibre, installation, and other services necessary to complete the "last mile" connectivity, as well as for any support services requested.

For CANARIE and RISQ lightpath allocations
Costs are negotiated between the researcher and the provider (RISQ or CANARIE). Note that lightpath leases are usually free.


Most lightpath network connections are available 24 X 7. The length of a lightpath lease varies according to the project requirements. This information is available from the provider (RISQ or CANARIE).

Once installed by IT Services, fibre remains installed indefinitely. The fibre lease terminates when the researcher no longer needs it.

The service is available 24 X 7, except during planned maintenance or outages, which will be posted on the IT Services website.

Frequently asked questions

What is an example of a research project using a dedicated lightpath, for which IT Services helped complete the "last mile" network connection?

For the ATLAS experiment at Geneva's CERN laboratory - As a tier II site, McGill's Physics department was used as a primary analysis centre for offline data analysis and was connected to the TRIUMF laboratory in Vancouver.

Best practices & policies

None available.

Training & documentation

None available.


To report problems with dedicated lightpath connections:
Submit a webform to the Network Infrastructure Group.

To report problems with any other network connections:
Contact the IT Service Desk