A Brief Primer on Internet2: What, Who, When and Where

A) What is it?

Internet2 is not a physical network that will replace the Internet. Rather, according to UCAID, it is a "collaborative effort to develop advanced Internet technology and applications vital to the research and education missions of higher education." Internet2 will employ two high performance backbones: the vBNS, created by MCI, and the Abilene Network. Neither network is open to the public so the enormous amounts of traffic that slow down the Internet will not interfere with Internet2. The increased speed, bandwith and performance afforded by these networks will allow for the creation of new technologies that promise to deliver such exciting advances as telemedicine, virtual laboratories, real-time video broadcasts and video conferencing that will be available to participating institutions.

B) Who is involved?

Internet2 is a project of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID). There are several dozen participating universities that include the well known, such as Yale University, and the not-so-well-known, such as Gallaudet University, the world's only university for deaf and hard of hearing undergraduate students. Corporations involved include 3Com, Apple, Cisco, IBM, Lucent, Novell, Nokia and several more. In all, there are 146 participating universities, 20 Affiliate Members, 16 Corporate Partners and 30 Corporate Members.

C) When will it be ready?

It already is...sort of. Universities around the nation are already using both networks, Abilene and vBNS, for some exciting projects. But they're just getting their feet wet. It is going to be a while before the really interesting technology is developed to take advantage of Internet2.

D) Where can I find more information?

 

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