Internet connectivity - Technical FAQ

What are the basic components and minimum requirements for Internet Connectivity service?
Can I connect my organization directly to the Belnet backbone?
If my organization is not located in one of our 26 PoPs, how can I do to get the service?
What happens if I choose a Belnet Leased Line?
What happens if I need redundancy?
What can I do if I want to upgrade my bandwidth?
Can I choose any kind of bandwidth for my organization?
Is there a limit in the volume of data transferred?
When can the 1 Gbit/s or 10 Gbit/s internet bandwidth be divided into 2 (100 Mbit/s) or 3 (1 Gbit/s) access/port circuits?

IPv6 Connectivity

What are the differences between IPv4 and IPv6?
How many IPv6 addresses are available?
How to continue using IPv4 while deploying IPv6?
Need more technical information about IPv6?

What are the basic components and conditions for my R&E organization?

A Belnet connection comprises three basic components:

access circuit, access gate(s) and bandwidth.

  • Access circuit: you rent this from Belnet (Belnet Leased Line) or from your chosen telecom operator. The chosen telecom operator will charge you separately for the leased line or the fibre optic connection. Our services require a symmetrical and transparent Ethernet access circuit. The minimum capacity is 100 Mbit/s for your central access connection. If you want a backup connection, we recommend that you purchase the same capacity as your central access circuit.
  • Access port: Belnet provides you with one or more access port(s) at a PoP in its network. If you opt for a Belnet Leased Line, the cost of the gateway is included in the total price. The type of access port depends on your type of access circuit and the capacity of both should preferably be equal.
  • Bandwidth: this is the data transmission speed setting on your access port. Belnet makes a distinction between two types of bandwidth: the "testing bandwidth" for your data traffic with (inter)national research networks (Belnet, Géant, Internet2, etc.) and the "internet bandwidth" for access to the "normal" or commercial internet.

Can I connect my organization directly to the Belnet backbone?

Belnet delivers a connection to the Research and Education network, both local and European as well as the Internet in various ways.

If you are present in one of our PoP (point of presence), we can connect you directly to a physical interface on our backbone.

If my organization is not located in one of our 26 PoPs, how can I do to get the service?

If you are not located in one of our 26 PoPs across Belgium, you will have to go through a third-party operator for the last mile. Two possibilities are offered: you can choose your own the provider, in which case, the services delivered by Belnet are the same as the direct connection in one of our PoPs; or you can go through Belnet for an added service, i.e., a Belnet Leased Line.

What happens if I choose a Belnet Leased Line?

In that case, Belnet becomes your only contact point for the connection, and we will contract the best suited provider for your needs via a call for tenders.
In addition, we will install active equipment at the end of the leased line, on your premises to monitor the services as close to your infrastructure as possible. Please visit our Belnet Leased Line page for more information’s.

What happens if I need redundancy?

If you need redundancy, in the case of a highly critical connection need, we can also provide a second connection via another PoP and with a separate fibre path (as long as they are available from the operators).

What can I do if I want to upgrade my bandwidth?

You have to contact your account manager. Depending on the physical installation, the upgrade may be a configuration only change. If the maximum physical bandwidth has already been reached, a physical upgrade needs to be performed, i.e., an upgrade of the Belnet Leased Line and/or a new interface on the backbone.

Can I choose any kind of bandwidth for my organisation?

We are a public company with public subsides. For very high capacity, we request that the demand should be justified by the usage of the customer. All the bandwidth we sell, from 100 Mbit/s to 100 Gbit/s, are available on our backbone. We would have trouble in justifying upgrades on the backbone for a user requesting a bandwidth of 10 Gbit/s for the internet but using only 100 Mbit/s.

Is there a limit in the volume of data transferred?

No, there is no limit on the volume of data transferred.

When can the 1 Gbit/s or 10 Gbit/s internet bandwidth be divided into 2 (100 Mbit/s) or 3 (1 Gbit/s) access/port circuits?

If you have multiple sites, all needing an Internet breakout, we can split the traffic between the different sites. Each site would be independent, but you will benefit from a reduction on higher bandwidth (1 Gbit/s is cheaper than 4 x 100 Mbit/s).

What is IPv6?

IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is the new generation protocol after IPv4. It's the most recent version of the Internet Protocol. IPv6 was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to deal with the long-anticipated problem of IPv4 address exhaustion. IPv6 is intended to replace IPv4.

The total number of possible IPv6 addresses is more than 7.9×1028 times as many as IPv4, which uses 32-bit addresses and provides approximately 4.3 billion addresses.

With IPv6 Belnet allows you to deploy the latest generation Internet protocol within your organization. Do not be the last to start the transition to IPv6. Belnet will be the ideal partner to help you.

What are the differences between IPv4 and IPv6?

  • 128 bits instead of the 32 with IPv4.
  • Different types and scopes of addresses.
  • No broadcast, thus no ARP (replaced by NDP).
  • Relies heavily on multicasting. 
  • Auto-configuration instead of DHCP? Stateless vs stateful.
  • It is Common to have multiple addresses on an interface.

How many IPv6 addresses are available?

IPv4 : each byte = 256 values
256 x 256 x 256 x 256 = 4.294.967.296 (4.3 billion) IP addresses

IPv6 : each group = 2 bytes = 65536 values
2001 : 06a8 : 0000 : 0000 : 0000 : 0000 : 0000 : 0001
65,536 x 65,536 x 65,536 x 65,536 x 65,536 x 65,536 x 65,536 x 65,536
= 340.282.366.920.938.463.463.374.607.431.768.211.456
= 340 billion billion billion billion IP addresses

Every organization connected to Belnet receives:
a/48 = 65,536 x /64
or 65K possible subnets / VLANs
A /64 subnet
= 18,446,744,057,709,551,616 interface IDs (2^64)
Total # IPs : 65,536 x 18,446,744,057,709,551,616

How to continue using IPv4 while deploying IPv6?

The protocols can be configured and used in parallel on the same link/network (in a dual stack) or, if you use a Belnet Leased Line, on a separate port of your Belnet service router (BSR).

With this solution, you can continue to use IPv4 while deploying IPv6, step by step, without impacting your current network.

Need more technical information about IPv6?

IPv6 introduction - Why prepare (105 pages)
IPv6 implementation - Action plan

Copyright © 2021 Belnet.