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I2-NEWS: Internet2 to Leverage New Optical Infrastructure to Explore Cutting Edge Networking

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  • From: Greg Wood <>
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  • Subject: I2-NEWS: Internet2 to Leverage New Optical Infrastructure to Explore Cutting Edge Networking
  • Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 21:10:30 -0400


Intersection of optical circuits and packet technologies promises new round of network innovation

Ann Arbor, MI--September 17, 2003--Internet2 today announced that it will have access to a 10 gigabit per second wavelength provisioned on the national footprint of the optical networking infrastructure recently announced by National LambdaRail, Inc. (NLR), a consortium of major U.S. research universities, Internet2, and other collaborating organizations. With access to both the NLR wavelength and the existing high-performance Internet2 Abilene backbone network, the Internet2 community gains the ability to explore the potential of combining new optical circuit technologies and existing high-performance Internet services to develop a next generation of advanced networking capabilities.

"Our members' commitment to advancing the leading edge of networking and the Abilene Network's record of supporting the most advanced network applications provide an ideal foundation to pursue the opportunities presented by these new technologies," said Douglas Van Houweling, President and CEO of Internet2. "The Internet2 community's investment in and work with National LambdaRail provide us with the capability to extend our work with colleagues around the world in advanced networking."

Much of this work is anticipated to expand on the intense investigations into the intersection of leading-edge packet and optical circuit technologies already underway among research and education networks around the world such as CA*net in Canada and SURFNet in the Netherlands, as well as efforts in the United States principally at StarLight, the Chicago-based advanced optical infrastructure and proving ground for international network services.

A design team drawn from the Internet2 membership as well as leading international collaborators is being formed to develop both a roadmap and a detailed plan for Internet2's efforts in this area. A critical objective will be the close coordination of this national effort with the emerging set of regional optical networks in the United States, including I-WIRE in Illinois, I-LIGHT in Indiana, and CalREN in California.

"The intersection of optical circuit and packet technologies promises to be a rich area of exploration for both network researchers and engineers and holds the potential for providing scientists in many disciplines new ways of working and communicating," said Steve Corbató, Director of Backbone Networking Infrastructure for Internet2. "This effort will continue the work of the Internet2 IP-over-Optical Working Group that commenced nearly a year ago in addition to leveraging our ongoing support of regional optical network development through projects such as FiberCo, an initiative to provide a strategic national fiber acquisition."

In addition to Internet2, the other current NLR members and associates include the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC); the Pacific Northwest GigaPop (PNWGP); the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center; Duke University, representing a coalition of North Carolina universities; the Mid-Atlantic Terascale Partnership (MATP) and the Virginia Tech Foundation; Cisco Systems; Florida LambdaRail, LLC; the Georgia Institute of Technology; and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). The Texas Universities Consortium is a pending member. Level 3 Communications is making a significant commitment to NLR by providing dark fiber and supporting services.

About Internet2(R)
Led by more than 200 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, visit:

About Abilene Network
Abilene, developed in partnership with Qwest Communications, Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, Nortel Networks and Indiana University, is an Internet2 backbone network providing nationwide high-performance networking capabilities for more than 225 universities and research facilities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information on Abilene please see

About FiberCo(TM)
FiberCo provides a means for acquiring, holding, and assigning fiber optic network assets in support of the Internet2 community's goals of developing and deploying advanced network applications and technologies. FiberCo facilitates the ongoing development of regional optical networking initiatives around the country to complement existing Internet2 network infrastructure while providing a strategic fiber acquisition capability on the national scale. For more information, see:

About National LambdaRail, Inc.
National LambdaRail, Inc. (NLR) is a major initiative of U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies to provide a national scale infrastructure for research and experimentation in networking technologies and applications. NLR puts the control, the power and the promise of experimental network infrastructure in the hands of our nation’s scientists and researchers. Visit for more information.

# # #

Greg Wood, Internet2

(703) 625-3917

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  • I2-NEWS: Internet2 to Leverage New Optical Infrastructure to Explore Cutting Edge Networking, Greg Wood, 09/17/2003

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