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Airbus leads European quantum internet consortium

Paris, 1 June 2021. – The European Commission has selected a consortium of companies and research institutes to study the design of the future European quantum communication network, EuroQCI.

EuroQCI is to enable ultra-secure communication between critical infrastructures and government institutions across the European Union.

The European consortium is led by Airbus and composed of Leonardo, Orange, PwC France and Maghreb, Telespazio, the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) and the Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRiM), the consortium members announced.

EuroQCI will integrate quantum technologies and systems into terrestrial fibre optic communication networks and will include a space-based segment ensuring full coverage across the EU and other continents, the consortium said.

“Ultimately, this will enable secure Europe’s encryption systems and critical infrastructures such as government institutions, air traffic control, healthcare facilities, banks and power grids against current and future cyber threats.”

The long-term plan is for the EuroQCI to become the basis of a quantum internet in Europe. The first service to make use of it will be quantum key distribution (QKD). The 15-month study will set out the details of the end-to-end system and design the terrestrial segment supporting the QKD service, the consortium said.

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