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I2-NEWS: Smithsonian Institution Connects to Internet2 Backbone Network

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  • From: Greg Wood <>
  • To:
  • Subject: I2-NEWS: Smithsonian Institution Connects to Internet2 Backbone Network
  • Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 09:05:43 -0400

Greg Wood



World's largest museum and research complex now connected to
high-performance networking

Washington, DC--August 27, 2002--Internet2 today announced that the
Smithsonian Institution now has access to the nationwide
high-performance Abilene backbone network. The Smithsonian Institution
is the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 16 museums and
galleries and the National Zoological Park as well as research
facilities in eight states and the Republic of Panama. Abilene is one of
the world's most advanced and far-reaching high-performance networks.

Scientists, teachers and students at more than 200 Internet2 member
universities and research centers currently use Abilene to create, test
and use advanced network applications that do not work well or at all
using the commercial Internet. Abilene enables applications such as
uncompressed high-definition television quality video; remote control of
scientific instruments such as mountaintop telescopes and electron
microscopes; collaboration using immersive virtual reality; and grid

"Internet2 provides an incredible opportunity for science centers such
as the National Museum of Natural History to explore new technologies
for presenting our collections, research and educational activities to
the public and to our scientific colleagues," said Douglas Erwin,
curator of biology and interim director of the Smithsonian’s National
Museum of Natural History.

Erwin continued, "We are moving rapidly to migrate collections of
images and data to electronic format, but the most exciting
possibilities of Internet2 have barely been explored. The scientific
visualization techniques that have become so important in the physical
sciences, whether in weather forecasting or exploring 3-D images of the
Earth for oil exploration, have made few inroads into the areas covered
by the museum. Internet2 provides a platform to explore new ways of
looking at our data, both for students, and with our any scientific
collaborators elsewhere in the world."

Texas A&M University, an Internet2 university member, sponsored the
Smithsonian's participation in Abilene.

"We are very pleased to have the Smithsonian join with the Internet2
community in exploring the potential of advanced networking for research
and higher education," said Steve Corbató, director of backbone network
infrastructure for Internet2. "The Smithsonian's unsurpassed scientific
collections and expertise are rich sources for sparking new uses of
advanced networking."

Internet2 members Qwest Communications, Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks,
Nortel Networks and Indiana University work together to develop, deploy
and operate the Abilene Internet2 backbone network. These partners
continue to extend Abilene's capabilities, such as the recent deployment
of IPv6, the next generation Internet protocol, and a quadrupling of
capacity to 10 gigabits per second, or nearly 200,000 times faster than
a typical computer modem. The Smithsonian's connection to Abilene was
established through the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), a regional
high-performance networking organization. For more information on
Abilene, see:

For more information about the Smithsonian Institution, please see:

About Internet2(R)
Led by over 190 U.S. universities, working with industry and government,
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 partnerships
among academia, industry, and government that helped foster today's
Internet in its infancy. For more information about Internet2, see:


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  • I2-NEWS: Smithsonian Institution Connects to Internet2 Backbone Network, Greg Wood, 08/27/2002

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