Pacific Northwest Gigapop


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UW Chosen for Internet2 Abilene Project Pilot Site

University of Washington Computing & Communications, Windows on Computing, No. 22, Winter 1999

The UW became a pilot site this autumn for the Internet2 Abilene project, the most advanced Internet network for research and education.

High Performance Network

In addition to the advanced networking capabilities that are the focus of Internet2, the Abilene project provides a high performance backbone network to support the applications research and development needed to advance the state of the art in virtual laboratories, digital libraries, and distance-independent education.

With backbone network links running at 2.48 gigabits--or 2.48 billion bits--per second, Abilene will be 1500 times faster than the T1 circuit used for typical dedicated Internet connections. Future links may run at 9.6 gigabits per second.

Help From the Legislature

To develop the Abilene project, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development is working with three major telecommunications corporations: Qwest, Nortel, and Cisco. The resulting advanced backbone network will connect the handful of pilot regional network aggregation points--called Gigapops ("pops" for points-of-presence)--including the UW-managed Pacific Northwest Gigapop, which received significant support from the Washington State Legislature.

The Abilene project will connect with other advanced research/education networks, like the very high performance Backbone Network Service (vBNS) provided by MCI, to serve as an Internet2 backbone network and support work at over 120 universities. See the Web site for more information.

Amy PhilipsonInternet2