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  • From: "Greg Wood" <>
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  • Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 15:44:31 -0400
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Media contact: April 10, 2000
Tom Garritano NSF PR 00-20

Program contact:
Aubrey Bush


Network will be available to U.S. Universities through March 2003

The National Science Foundation and MCI WorldCom have agreed to a
three-year, no-cost extension that will keep the very high performance
Backbone Network System (vBNS) operating until at least 2003.

The network connects 94 U.S. universities to other research institutions at
speeds up to 2.4 gigabits per second. Most of the schools connect at 620
megabits per second. A gigabit and a megabit equal one billion and one
million bits, respectively.

The original cooperative agreement ran from April 1, 1995 to March 31, 2000.
NSF paid MCI $10 million per year during that period to build and manage
vBNS. The extension means the network will remain in service at least until
March 31, 2003, at no cost to NSF. MCI owns the vBNS infrastructure.

NSF has made High Performance Connections (HPC) awards to 177 universities,
which may connect to either vBNS or Abilene, a similar research network. At
present, vBNS provides connections for 101 institutions, including 94 HPC

The two-year HPC awards average $350,000, matched equally by each recipient.
The extension agreement means that MCI will continue to make the service
available, although universities will incur 100 percent of the costs once
their HPC grants end.

The vBNS schools can continue to purchase MCI services under existing
contracts, at prices guaranteed in the original NSF-MCI agreement.

"The extension upholds our responsibility to ensure that the university
research community is well-served by vBNS," said Aubrey Bush, director of
the NSF Advanced Networking Infrastructure and Research (ANIR) division.

"The three-year extension aligns with the known lifetimes of other networks
like Abilene and STAR TAP to keep us moving forward with multiple,
interoperable backbones."

STAR TAP is the NSF-funded hub connecting U.S. research networks
internationally to sites in Europe and Asia.

Universities with high performance connections capitalize on supercomputing
resources made available through NSF's Partnerships for Advanced
Computational Infrastructure (PACI) program. The vBNS also provides advanced
connectivity to other U.S. research networks, including the Department of
Energy's ESNET and the NASA Research and Education Network.

NSF is an independent federal agency that supports all fields of science,
mathematics and engineering. MCI WorldCom is a global communications company
with revenue of more than $30 billion and operations in over 65 countries.

For more information about ANIR and vBNS, see:


Tom Garritano
Office of Legislative & Public Affairs
National Science Foundation

703-306-1070 x-1256
See NSF news stories:

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Susan Brandt, ResearchChannel/UW

cell 206-819-7388

Dulcie Neiman, Sony Electronics Inc.


LAS VEGAS, NAB (Booth #L12107), April 10, 2000 - Broadcasters,
telecommunication, and Internet experts celebrated today when the first
live high definition television newscast produced over the Internet
successfully reached television viewers in Seattle on KING 5's digital
television channel. Attendees at the National Association of Broadcasters
(NAB) Convention in Las Vegas watched the live production in progress as
four simultaneous HDTV streams were sent from Seattle over new high speed
Internet networks to the Sony exhibition booth at the Convention Hall,
switched on site for the live newscast, and streamed back over the
Internet to Seattle for KING 5 viewers.

The demonstration required the use of high performance "Internet
HDTV" software developed by a team of engineers at the University of
Washington sponsored by the ResearchChannel. Internet HDTV software is
compatible with both Sony HDCAM compression and HD switching technologies,
as well as Internet protocols.

The first live long distance production over Internet networks was made
possible using long-haul Internet transport from Enron Broadband Services
and Internet backbone routers provided by Juniper Networks. Electric
Lightwave Inc. provisioned the local loop from the KING 5 studios to the
Pacific/Northwest Gigapop in Seattle.

"We've demonstrated a successful convergence at the pinnacle of the
telecommunication and broadcast industries," said Amy Philipson, executive
director of the ResearchChannel. "The quality and speed of this live
production are unsurpassed, and we see this demonstration as a model and
springboard for future collaborations and experiments."

The team of engineers from the broadcast, Internet, and telecommunications
industries represent the new synergy that is pioneering the next
generation of video/Internet technologies. For this demonstration, more
than a billion bits per second of HDTV data flowed through Internet
networks - without the use of ATM or video-only networking.

"High quality, next-generation video transmission using Internet
technology is exactly the kind of application our new infrastructure
supports," said E. Ted Seitz, Vice President of Wholesale for Enron
Broadband Services. "The work that Sony and the University of
Washington/Research Channel have been doing in this area proves the
feasibility of applying unique Internet-based approaches to high-end
multimedia distribution challenges."

At the demonstration, NAB attendees had the opportunity to see the
convergence in action as HDTV streams arrived from Seattle in Sony's
exhibition booth, were directed to commodity PCs where they were decoded
and then fed into Sony's HD-Switcher for live production and compression
for Internet travel back to Seattle for KING 5's live broadcast.

According to Hugo Gaggioni, Vice President of Technology for Sony
Electronics' Broadcast and Professional Company, "This demonstration is
significant in that it shows that digital convergence can happen at the
high-end of professional broadcast services and we also see a fast
adoption towards consumer-level implementation."

The joint demonstration will continue through the NAB Convention. For more
information about the technology used in this demonstration, see

# # #

Internet HDTV Project Participants:

ResearchChannel/University of Washington
ResearchChannel sponsors University of Washington experiments to pioneer
new methods of Internet based distribution for broadcast quality video
programming, ResearchChannel is building high quality channels of direct
communication about research news, discoveries, and applications with the
public and between institutions. For more information
see: or write

Sony Electronics' Broadcast and Professional Company (BPC) provides
advanced products and systems for a variety of professional and broadcast
markets, including production, corporate, industrial, government,
security, medical and education. BPC products, systems and applications
are designed to facilitate the transition to digital technologies and the
emerging broadband network era, while managing current assets. Sony BPC
products and services include those for broadcast and professional
acquisition, production, storage, data management, system integration,
digital imaging, digital printing, large and small venue display and
projection needs. BPC is a division of Sony Electronics Inc., a
U.S. company that had record sales exceeding $11 billion for fiscal year
1999. For more information, visit For
information regarding the nearest Sony authorized dealer or service
location, call 1-800-686-SONY. Press releases and digital images are
available online at

Enron Broadband Services is a leading provider of high quality, broadband
Internet content and applications. The company's business model combines
the power of the Enron Intelligent Network, Enron's Broadband Operating
System, bandwidth trading and intermediation services, and high-bandwidth
applications, to fundamentally improve the experience and functionality of
the Internet. Enron introduces its Broadband Operating System to allow
application developers to dynamically provision bandwidth on demand for
the end-to-end quality of service necessary to deliver broadband
content. Enron has also created a market for bandwidth that will allow
network providers to scale to meet the demands that are required by
increasingly complex applications. A wholly owned subsidiary of Enron
Corp., Enron Broadband Services can be found on the Web at Enron is one of the world's leading electricity, natural
gas and communications companies. The company, which owns approximately
$34 billion in energy and communications assets, produces electricity and
natural gas, develops, constructs and operates energy facilities
worldwide, delivers physical commodities and financial and risk management
services to customers around the world, and is developing an intelligent
network platform to facilitate online business. The stock is traded under
the ticker symbol (NYSE:ENE)

Juniper Networks, Inc. is a leading provider of purpose-built systems that
meet the scalability, performance, density, and compatibility requirements
of rapidly evolving, optically enabled IP networks. The company's
purpose-built systems provide new IP infrastructure solutions for the
world's leading service providers. Juniper Networks service, manufacturing
teams, and IP engineers work closely with customers to build and support
customer networks. The company is headquartered in Mountain View,

Pacific Northwest Gigapop (P/NWGP)
The Pacific/Northwest Gigapop is the Northwest's Next Generation Internet
applications cooperative, testbed, and point of presence. P/NWGP connects
universities as well as research institutions and R&D enterprises
throughout Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Oregon, to one another,
to the next generation Internet backbones (including Internet2/Abilene and
the High Speed Connectivity Consortium), federal research networks, and to
super-high-performance commodity internets. For more information, see

KING 5, the first television station to ever broadcast in the Northwest,
made high definition history on October 29, 1998 with the live HD
broadcast of the John Glenn space launch. On April 26, 1999 KING 5
broadcast the first regularly scheduled network program in HDTV, The
Tonight Show with Jay Leno, followed by an Evening Magazine special on
April 29, 1999, which was shot entirely in high definition. On June 24,
1999 KING 5 News began broadcasting all newscasts in high definition from
a studio redesigned specifically for the new technology. KING 5 continues
its legacy of pioneering television by expanding on high definition
efforts and exploring new digital technologies.

Electric Lightwave Inc. (NASDAQ: ELIX) is a broadband integrated
communications provider of Internet, data, voice and dedicated access
services to communications-intensive businesses and the growing online
business community. The company owns and operates high-speed fiber optic
networks that interconnect major markets in the West and operates a
nationally acclaimed Internet and data network. Headquartered in
Vancouver, Wash., the company employs 1,167 and generated revenues of $187
million in 1999, up 85 percent from 1998. Additional information about
Electric Lightwave is located on the Web at The company is 82
percent owned by Citizens Utilities (NYSE:CZN, CZNPr).

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Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 11:54:23 -0400
From: Ben Teitelbaum
Organization: Internet2 (UCAID) / Advanced Network & Services
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Subject: I2-NEWS: Abilene Premium Service Test Program Launched
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Abilene Premium Service Test Program Launched

April 11th, 2000 - Armonk, NY - To support the QBone, an interdomain
quality of service (QoS) testbed initiative sponsored by Internet2,
Internet2 announced at the recent Spring 2000 Internet2 Member Meeting
the launch of the Abilene Premium Service (APS) test program.
Participation in this program is open to Abilene connectors interested
in wide-area QBone testing to supplement local QBone deployment and
testing efforts. APS is designed for full interoperability with the
QBone Premium Service (QPS) and will be deployed in phases, beginning
with an initial phase dubbed "Sweetwater".

"We envision that the Abilene Premium Service test program will play
an important role in providing backbone transit for QBone traffic, and
that it will add tremendous value and collaboration opportunities to
the QBone deployment and testing efforts of Abilene connected
institutions," said Ben Teitelbaum, Senior Engineer, Internet2.

The QBone Premium Service, and hence the Abilene Premium Service as
well, aims to provide a low-loss, low-jitter service to advanced
applications. Typically, these are real-time applications that support
either human-to-human collaborations or human-to-machine remote
control, and demand a level of interactivity that imposes stringent
worst-case delay, jitter, and loss requirements on the underlying
network service.

"The Abilene Premium Service test program will be a valuable
contribution to our understanding of how new forms of IP QoS can
enhance the capabilities of advanced interactive video applications,"
said Joel Mambretti, Director of the International Center for Advanced
Internet Research at Northwestern University (iCAIR).

The Abilene Premium Service is built on the Expedited Forwarding (EF)
per-hop behavior defined by the IETF Differentiated Services working
group. The basic packet conditioning and forwarding service is
complemented by a measurement infrastructure which will provide
detailed QoS performance data to support end-to-end debugging and
analysis of QoS-enabled paths. OARnet's Internet2 Technology
Evaluation Center (ITEC) will host the Abilene QoS measurement server,
integrating a diverse set of passive and active performance
observations under a common umbrella and supporting the public
dissemination of these data.

During the initial "Sweetwater" phase of the APS test program,
EF-marked traffic injected by a participating connector will be
policed according to an agreed-upon service profile. APS profiles will
be parameterized by an agreed-upon peak rate and maximum burst size.

During Sweetwater, no preferential forwarding treatment will be given
to APS traffic as it transits Abilene. However, because Abilene is
still fairly lightly loaded, this is not expected to be a significant
problem for those involved in testing QoS-sensitive applications. The
subsequent Midland phase of APS testing will include partial EF
forwarding through the Abilene core and policing and/or monitoring at
all connector interfaces to protect EF capacity. Midland is expected
to begin within one to three months.

Abilene connectors interested in participating in the APS test program
should read the detailed "Abilene Premium Service Test Program"
document (, and should
submit a request for participation to the Abilene network operations
center (NOC) per the procedures described there. Our intention is to
work to support any Abilene connector who is interested in
participating in the APS test program and who is making a good faith
effort to participate in the Internet2 QBone initiative. Participation
of individual connectors may be delayed by the technical limitations
of certain edge cards, limitations of connector access router
functionality, or other technical or operational constraints on the
part of either Abilene or its connectors.

About Abilene and the Abilene QoS Engineering Team

The Abilene backbone network provides high-performance backbone
connectivity to Internet2 universities and other institutions.
Abilene is a packet-over SONET (POS) network, providing coast-to-coast
OC48 (2.4 Gbps) IP transit, with connectors attaching to one of ten
POPs with either POS or IP-over-ATM access circuits running at OC3
(155 Mbps), OC12 (622 Mbps), or OC48 (2.4 Gbps) speeds. The Abilene
project is a partnership of Internet2, Qwest, Cisco Systems, and
Nortel Networks, with the Abilene NOC supplied under contract by
Indiana University. The Abilene QoS engineering team includes
engineers from all Abilene partners and from the two Internet2
Technology Evaluation Centers (ITECs), hosted by the North Carolina
Networking Initiative (NCNI) and Ohio State University.

About QBone

The Internet2 QBone initiative was launched by the Internet2 QoS
Working Group in November 1998 to develop and deploy an interdomain
testbed for new IP network services. QBone participants are exploring
the engineering and science of IP differentiated services in the
context of an interdomain testbed that makes these services
incrementally available to the developers and end-users of advanced
applications. The initial focus and first service specified by the
QBone architecture is a low-loss, low-jitter service based on the
Expedited Forwarding (EF) per-hop behavior, defined by the IETF
Differentiated Services working group. For more information about the
QBone, see:

About Internet2(tm)

Internet2 is developing and deploying advanced network applications
and technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the
creation of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnership
of academia, industry and government that helped foster today's
Internet in its infancy. For more information about Internet2, see:

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From: ResearchChannel



Subject: ResearchChannel Founding Participant Invitation
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Internet2 Members,

At the Spring 2000 Internet2 Members Meeting, the ResearchChannel
consortium presented updates on progress towards establishing a national
and international voice for research in traditional media through Internet
technology experiments. On April 10, University of Washington engineers
achieved the first ever live HDTV production via Internet technologies in
a project sponsored by the ResearchChannel and Sony Electronics Inc.

The ResearchChannel consortium is now extending an open invitation to
Internet2 members to share in this opportunity by becoming ResearchChannel
founding participants.

Founding participants have the opportunity to build on ResearchChannel's
successes and receive the following benefits:

-recognition as a founding participant
-advisory council eligibility
-100 hours of content for national broadcast (Dish Network and webcasts)
-encoding of content for on-demand access
-priority national video and text broadcasts
-retransmission of ResearchChannel broadcast to local audiences
-member Internet streaming video project
-representatives (2) at ResearchChannel conferences and seminars
-access to ResearchChannel information sources

Internet2 members are invited to become founding participants in the
ResearchChannel by contributing an annual payment of $10,000 to the
consortium by May 1, 2000.

If your institution is interested in becoming a ResearchChannel founding
participant or if you have any questions, please contact Amy Philipson at

or 206-543-3740.

ResearchChannel is a not-for-profit organization administered by the
University of Washington.

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