Experiments with quantum communication devices and protocols are not new at CERN. In 2009, the Organization already took part in the SwissQuantum project, a public-private initiative to set up and operate over long periods of time a prototype quantum key distribution (QKD) layer.
CERN plays an important role in regional and European Internet infrastructures at the physical layer. For example, it has hosted the CERN Internet eXchange Point (CIXP) since 1996, and it has been a driving force behind the evolution of the regional internet infrastructure. The CIXP is a founding member of the European Internet Exchange Point Association (Euro-IX). Technologies core to communications systems, like time synchronisation or lasers, have been developed for CERN applications and then moved to other fields.
For the past 20 years, CERN has played a leading role in the design, deployment, and operations of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG), at the base of the revolution that has led to modern distributed computing infrastructures and Cloud computing.
Taking part in technology investigations and supporting the deployment and operations of the future Quantum Internet would not only be a natural extension of CERN's current mission but would also ensure that CERN continues to play a central role in the future of European and international communication infrastructures.