Skip to Content.
Sympa Menu

i2-news - Announcing A Celebration of the NSFNET

Subject: News for and about the Internet2 community

List archive

Announcing A Celebration of the NSFNET

Chronological Thread 
  • From: Greg Wood <>
  • To:
  • Subject: Announcing A Celebration of the NSFNET
  • Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2007 17:48:59 -0400

Andy Rosenzweig


Announcing A Celebration of the NSFNET: The Partnership That Changed the World

A significant building block in Internet history will be celebrated with a symposium and celebratory event on November 29-30 in Arlington, Virginia. Scientists, scholars, technologists, business leaders and educators will gather to celebrate the NSFNET, a program of networking projects funded by the National Science Foundation beginning in 1985.

The NSFNET comprised a set of projects that encouraged the adoption of internetworking in education and research. At the start of the program, networking was neither strongly standardized nor ubiquitous on campuses. The NSFNET program vastly expanded network availability, advanced technological development, and helped prove the value of the set of services that ultimately became today's commercial Internet.

The NSFNET backbone network connected colleges, universities and research centers throughout the U.S. and exchanged traffic with many overseas networks. The network grew from 56 kbps bandwidth in 1985 to T1 (1.5 Mbps) in 1988 and finally to T3 (45 Mbps) in 1991, reflecting the explosive growth in usage during this period. The T3 network was the immediate precursor to today's Internet, transitioning in 1995 from a private network to an infrastructure connecting the resources of countless commercial network providers. At the same time, outreach initiatives helped early adopters in academia use the new resource for scientific and educational progress.

The theme of the November event, "The Partnership That Changed the World," points to the NSFNET's signature integration of public and private resources: a collaboration of academic, commercial and governmental institutions working toward a single goal. The sum of those efforts, greater than any organization could have achieved on its own, led to technical, operational and academic advancements that have had immense influence on modern life.

At the event, participants will discuss the NSFNET's history, celebrate its contributions, and consider the major impact the Internet has had on science, education, research and commerce. The program includes speakers and panelists who directed the NSFNET program, did research and scholarship across the network, and built services and businesses in the resulting network economy.

The November event is planned by a group of NSFNET program leaders, with organizational support from Merit Network and Internet2. Sponsors include Advanced Network & Services, Inc., Cisco Systems, IBM, Juniper Networks and the National Science Foundation. The event will be of particular interest to those who participated in NSFNET projects or conducted research and education that benefited from early advances in network services. There will also be a webcast of the event, available to the public.

The event will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, It begins the morning of Thursday, November 29, with a formal program throughout the day and a gala reception and dinner following in the evening. The program resumes the morning of Friday, November 30, and concludes that afternoon.

More information about the event and about the NSFNET is available at the Web site:

  • Announcing A Celebration of the NSFNET, Greg Wood, 10/24/2007

Archive powered by MHonArc 2.6.16.

Top of Page