Josef Vojtech, Vladimir Smotlacha, CESNET; Susanne Naegele-Jackson, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen- Nürnberg; Nicolas Quintin, RENATER; Krzysztof Turza, Wojbor Bogacki, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center; Guy Roberts, GÉANT; Fabian Mauchle, Joel Busch, SWITCH

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As optical time & frequency transfer as a service has gained interest among European providers of National Research & Education Networks (NRENs) the GÉANT network development group (Work Package 6) has put an emphasis on investigating the different options and solutions for optical T&F transfer in Europe. With more than 40 countries participating in GÉANT it is no surprise that the T&F landscape currently ranges from the deployment of ELSTAB, White Rabbit, uni- and bi-directional optical carrier, RF-over-fiber to frequency comb transfer. With such a diverse landscape of European T&F technologies and services, it is challenging to integrate these approaches into a common backbone. The GÉANT project aims to address this challenge by exploring options for optical T&F transfer in Europe and continuing to support the development of the GÉANT research network infrastructure. While it is not clear yet which approaches will prevail in the GÉANT backbone infrastructure, during the course of the project the group conducted a number of investigations that also included a look into best practices and lessons learnt when it comes to monitoring and management of T&F transfer. A major area of interest for the next phase GN5-1 which started in January 2023 will be the investigation of bridging solutions, and how C- and L-band solutions could be used in cross-border and multi-domain environments. As Quantum technologies are also emerging in parallel, another focus will be on the T&F requirements of quantum communication and how to ensure an effective coexistence of the infrastructure for both optical T&F transfer as well as Quantum communication.