An anonymous reader contributes: "A research backbone network interconnecting more than 30 countries, through which hundreds of universities can exchange traffic, with a backbone running at 10 Gbps, born on the 1st of December. Yes, it exists, and this research network is not even in the U.S.!
GEANT is a european initiative which has just come online, so if you're a student in Europe, you may have noticed a significant change in your downloads speeds since last week. You can even check its weathermap! Well, obviously backbone links are still unused ... but that shouldn't last long, once people notice the sheer amount of bandwidth."