First quantum secured governmental connection in the Netherlands
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is proud to announce that on the 29th of June the first local governmental connection with secure quantum communications is being demonstrated in the Netherlands. In this demonstration a connection is made between mayor Oosterveer of Waalre in his office in Het Huis van Waalre to the network operator WeConnect’s Waalre office. This demonstration will show the usability and market readiness of secure quantum communications. The Brainport region, TU/e, WeConnect and Waalre are at the top of the developments on secure quantum communications, working together to ensure that telecommunication remains stable, fast and secure over the next decades.
This connection between the municipality of Waalre and WeConnect Waalre is part of the quantum technology agnostic Eindhoven quantum (secure) communications testbed currently under development to demonstrate quantum communications use-cases and drive the adoption of quantum secure communications. These efforts are funded by the QuantumDelta NL (QDNL) growth funds on Quantum Communications (KAT-2) and by the QCINed project through the European Quantum Communications Infrastructure (EuroQCI) programme.
What is secure quantum communication?
Quantum computers are capable of breaking current encryption. This has been known for many years, but now that quantum computers are rapidly maturing a societal danger is created. Criminals and geopolitical enemies may gain access to critical information. There are many programs ongoing worldwide to counter this threat, with developments in the EU, USA, Japan and China being particularly well funded. At TU/e a large program is run to generate new quantum communication technology, test and validate it, and provide industry support for its further uptake and deployment.
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is the method we use to exchange cryptographic keys using quantum techniques. These keys in combination with next generation post-quantum cryptographic (PQC) algorithms provide protection to the widest class of attackers and therefore confidentiality and data security are guaranteed. Quantum key distribution, including the demonstration in Waalre, is one of the first steps towards a connected quantum internet, which will unlock the full potential of quantum communications technology, which promises secure and fast communication in the future.
Long-term security: Unlike traditional security methods, which are likely to be broken by quantum computers, the quantum key distribution at the heart of the quantum secure connection offers long-term security. Even with future advanced technologies like quantum computers, it will be impossible to compromise the distribution of the keys which are used to securely encrypt the data. Therefore, several sectors where quantum key distribution is attracting attention include banking, automotive, 5G systems, critical infrastructures, defence and security infrastructure.
About the Eindhoven quantum (secure) communications testbed
The realization of the first quantum secure local governmental connection is a milestone in the building of the Eindhoven technology agnostic testbed for quantum secure communication. The testbed offers access to an extensive infrastructure which allows for “real-world testing” conditions and for developing new use cases for quantum technologies. The fiber network stretches from Eindhoven to Waalre, with a connection to Helmond coming soon. Companies and researchers are invited to work within the testbed to develop components, systems, software and products for application in quantum communications. The testbed also provides validation and certification for future commercial products.
About Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
Eindhoven University of Technology is a world leading education and research institution focused on advancing knowledge in science & technology for the benefit of humanity and educating the thought leaders of the future. The Eindhoven quantum key distribution efforts are led by the Quantum and Terahertz Systems and High-Capacity Optical Transmission teams in the Electro-Optical Communications group of the Department of Electrical Engineering. Besides the testbed, they develop different types of QKD equipment and pioneer integrated photonics for quantum secure optical communications.
About WeConnect Waalre
WeConnect believes it is important to connect Waalre not only digitally, but also socially. They do this by using the fiber optic networks for new innovative services that contribute to smart solutions, including in the field of safety and health. Various parties may use the open network for this purpose. All revenues are also reinvested to improving the network and rolling out new valuable services. Check www.weconnectwaalre.nl for more information.
Reference for technical details/research: dr.ir. Simon Rommel email@example.com