Internet2 is a testing-ground networking environment where universities, companies, and government laboratories work together and develop advanced Internet technologies such as telemedicine, digital libraries and virtual laboratories.
Using state-of-the-art infrastructure, Internet2 members are connected to the Abilene network backbone, which uses regional network aggregation points called gigaPoPs. The Abilene Network operates at 10 gigabitsper second and supports transfer rates 100 to 1000 times faster than typical broadband connections.
In October of 1996, 34 U.S. research universities began working on Internet2, and in September of 1997, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) was created to give an organizational body to the project. Today, with more than 300 member organizations, the Internet2 community currently includes more than 4 million individuals
Internet2 provides revolutionary IT facilities to the global IT village and its educational sectors, including a 100 Gbps network central source to 70 corporations, more than 210 U.S. educational facilities and 45 nonprofit and government departments.
In addition, Internet2 is a provider of innovative technologies, including massive network performance management and measurement tools, uncomplicated and protected access and identity administration tools, and sophisticated functionalities like the scheduling and on-demand creation of highly efficient, high-bandwidth circuits.
Internet2’s primary objectives and functions are as follows:
- Distributed E-Libraries: Students routinely use e-libraries requiring high-bandwidth Internet IP networks. Internet2 provides tools to support and enhance network capability for high-speed data traffic.
- Data Retrieval and Bandwidth: Before the digital computer age, data was text-based, and students did not have experience with digital transmission systems. Today, educational data is available for retrieval via Internet, increasing high-speed bandwidth requirements. Internet2 facilitates the development of enhanced bandwidth networks, services and support.
- Virtualization: Multiple users – including students, scientists and teachers – now have the ability to work and access virtual laboratories from remote locations. Internet2’s advanced features facilitate the virtual availability of educational tools and machinery. It also provides online educational and training programs.