Gore unveils backbone for high-speed Internet2

US Vice President Al Gore yesterday formally announced an IP (Internet Protocol) network, dubbed Abilene, that will provide the native backbone for the Internet2 project intended to give a faster route through cyberspace to research universities. Abilene is being developed by the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), a consortium of some 110 US research universities, nonprofit research centers, government agencies and industry members developing new points of presence (POPs) that will link campuses to a backbone operating at 2.4Gbits/s.

US Vice President Al Gore yesterday formally announced an IP (Internet Protocol) network, dubbed Abilene, that will provide the native backbone for the Internet2 project intended to give a faster route through cyberspace to research universities.

Abilene is being developed by the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) as part of the Internet2 project. UCAID is a consortium of some 110 U.S. research universities, nonprofit research centers, government agencies and industry members developing new points of presence (POPs) that will link university campuses to the Abilene backbone operating at 2.4Gbit/s

The Internet2 is expected to be in operation by 2000 and is being designed to help researchers share and obtain information more rapidly than is possible on the Internet. Database analysis, for example, can take hours or even days via the congested Internet, but will require just minutes on Internet2.

Gore also announced today that the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will invest about US$50 million in 27 long-term research projects related to Internet2. Gore has publicly supported the Internet2 project and UCAID, whose meeting begins tomorrow in Washington, D.C., where the group is based.

Abilene will use Qwest Communications International Inc.'s fiber-optic network and technologies from Cisco Systems Inc. and Northern Telecom Ltd.

UCAID can be reached at +1-202-872-4200 or at http://www.ucaid.edu/. Gore's World Wide Web site, which includes information on technology, can be reached at http://www.whitehouse.gov/. Qwest, in Denver, is at +1-303-291-1400 or at http://www.qwest.com/.

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