Internet2 will go live tomorrow, promising to enhance and speed up Web surfing through the fruits of academic and corporate research conducted over a private network.
Internet2 is five-year effort to interconnect 140 universities that will create advanced network applications, allowing students and professors to view and consult during real-time medical operations, for example, or collaborate in virtual labs. Participants committed $50 million per year to the project in hopes of shipping huge packets of data or streaming video over networks at breakneck speeds without interruption.
The university project will run on the $500 million Abilene fiber-optic backbone developed by the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) in partnership with Qwest Communications, Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems, and Indiana University. Abilene operates at speeds up to 2.4 gigabits per second--85,000 times faster than a standard dial-up modem.