POL-34 is a Polish academic computer network created to provide high-speed Internet access and to conduct network-based research. Most of the government founded higher education organisations and all of metropolitan area networks in Poland are connected to POL-34.
POL-34 has been created as a result of an experiment hosted in Poznań in 1997 during a scientific conference in which all major Polish MAN's representatives took part. Its target was to create a high-speed WAN. During the experiment Poznań, Łódź and Gdańsk have been connected and the 34 Mbit/sATM network in an 622 Mbit/s SDH environment has been created and since then called POL-34. Since its creation, POL-34 has been a purely high-speed IP network.
In the beginning, POL-34 has been using fiber-optic links leased from TEL-ENERGO, a company founded by State Power Companies, Polish Power Networks and Polish Power Distribution Association. Since its creation POL-34 has been creating its own infrastructure and now owns all fiber-optic connections to major nodes.
In 1999 a project to extend the bandwidth of the network has been proposed and POL-155 has been created. Speed has been expanded to 155 Mbit/s Asynchronous Transfer Mode between Gdańsk, Łódź and Poznań and constant effort to create 155 Mbit/s links between smaller nodes has been made.
In 2000 POL-34/155 and various other academic organisations set up a project of creating a 10 Gbit/s network within GEANT project. Network called PIONIER is the result of that project. Currently it connects Białystok, Bielsko-Biała, Bydgoszcz, Częstochowa, Gdańsk, Gliwice, Kielce, Kraków, Lublin, Łódź, Opole, Poznań, Puławy, Radom, Toruń, Warsaw, Wrocław and Zielona Góra with a fiber-optic 10 Gbit/s link. The rest: Koszalin, Szczecin, Olsztyn, Rzeszów are connected with links between 155 and 622 Mbit/s. PIONIER's Network Operations Center is based in Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center. It has connections to various commercial networks and is well integrated with GEANT network.
Both POL-34/155 and PIONIER is operated by a consortium of 22 metropolitan area network operators and other educational institutions. Decisions within the consortium are made by voting.