Pacific Northwest Gigapop


News & Events

Contribution of Bandwidth Places University of Alaska at the Forefront of Internet2 Connectivity

FAIRBANKS, PORTLAND & SEATTLE - March 31, 1999 -- The University of Washington is very pleased to announce that the University of Alaska is being connected to the next generation Internet2 super-high-speed research and education network.

This new network link provides a crucial high-performance connection between the major national Internet2 network hub in Seattle which serves the Northwest, and The University of Alaska Statewide System in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The fiber optic cable based connection provides a state of the art "SONET OC-12" link which is fully compatible with Internet2 and next-generation Internet technologies and is being contributed to the Pacific Northwest Gigapop Internet2 research and education networking effort by WCI Cable Inc.

At about 2,000 miles in length it will be the longest network segment anywhere within the Internet2 network.

The University of Alaska and the University of Washington have a long history of collaboration in research, education and medicine including a partnership in the late 1980's in bringing the original internet, then called NSFnet to the Northwest and Alaska.

The new Internet2 connection will place the University of Alaska as one of the top ten universities in the country for high-speed next-generation Internet connectivity. It gives the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, as fast a connection as exists at any other university supercomputing center in the nation.

This link will enable the University of Alaska and other qualified research and education partners to become full and active participants in Internet2 next-generation Internet development and will extend the new generation of Internet2 technologies, capabilities and opportunities to the entire research and education community in Alaska. The network link will be used for education and research purposes and will enable not only high-speed access to the U of A's supercomputing facilities and growing digital repositories, but will also provide faculty, students and staff as well as research and clinical partners with access to and roles in developing the new generation of Internet-based multimedia, video, and voice applications; powerful new forms of telemedicine; high quality distance education capabilities; teleimmersion facilities; and the leading edge e-business technologies which Internet2 and the next generation of Internet technologies enable.

High-speed Internet connection between Alaska and the rest of nation has been long sought by the University of Alaska, its partner institutions including the UW in the 'contiguous 48', and by many others in the state of Alaska and federal government. UA presently has four T-1 lines for its research and education Internet connections. The four T-1s provide a bit rate of about 6 million bits per second. An OC-12 connection furnishes about 620 million bits per second -- roughly 100 times faster than the current connection. Now, at last, the fastest and most sophisticated network transport technologies, super high-speed next-generation Internet capacity are coming to Alaska. Full OC-12-level services will be operational by September 30, 1999 in time for the Fall Internet 2 members' meeting, to be held in Seattle October 10-13.

Ron Johnson
University of Washington &
Pacific/Northwest Gigapop

Steve Smith
University of Alaska
907 474-6309

Heather Sirr
WCI Cable Inc
503 533-5552