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First multi-gigabit interactive video transmission between Australia and the US

PITTSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, USA, November 8, 2004 and CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA, November 9 2004 - AARNet (Australia's Academic and Research Network) and ResearchChannel today demonstrated the first high definition uncompressed interactive video interaction across the Pacific at 1.4 gigabits per second in each direction.

The demonstration took advantage of recent massive increases in bandwidth capabilities from Australia to the continental United States on network capacity provided by Southern Cross Cable Networks, to deliver truly remarkable quality video interaction between AARNet's head office in Canberra and the exhibition floor of the Supercomputing Conference SC2004 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

The partnership between ResearchChannel, AARNet, and the University of Washington provided applications that spurred the development of high speed networks and enabled data transfers previously unavailable between the two continents.

The unprecedented high-quality, low-latency interactive video is the first use of the Southern Cross Trans-Pacific Optical Research Testbed (or SXTransPORT), a dual 10Gbps trans-Pacific initiative of Southern Cross Cable Networks and AARNet and acquired with assistance from the Australian Government. The network path also involved the Pacific Northwest Gigapop and the US National LambdaRail (NLR) 10 gigabit network fabric. The network path also makes use of US National Institutes of Health-funded networks through the University of Hawaii. Future expansion of the network is planned to offer these and additional resources to other continents, and bring scientists and researchers together by exploiting new Internet technologies.

Using two Intel PCI-Xpress computers and AJA Video Systems' Xena-HD HDSDI capture cards, the demonstration is the first to show High Definition interactive systems over Windows XP platforms, providing researchers, medical practitioners and scientists worldwide with new interactive video capabilities.

"This demonstration is the first highly visual culmination of the recent initiatives between AARNet's international developments arm and Southern Cross at the infrastructure level and with our colleagues at the University of Washington at the infrastructure, technology and applications levels," said AARNet's CEO, Chris Hancock.

Dr Mike Sargent, who chairs the Australian Research and Education Network initiative, participated for part of the opening session and engaged with Professor John O'Callaghan, CEO of the Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing, and other participants in Pittsburg for the Supercomputing Global 2004 conference.

"This is a great demonstrator of the benefit of strategic investment of Australian Government funds in helping put the network infrastructure in place to support these innovative applications" said Dr Sargent.

"The video quality presented at the exhibition floor of the SC2004 conference in Pittsburg from Australia is exceptional" said Professor O'Callaghan.

Demonstrations will continue through the rest of this week, though in Australian time these sessions are from 2am to 10am of the mornings of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and from 2am until 8am on Friday.

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Background information

About AARNet
Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet) provides high capacity, leading edge Internet services for the tertiary education and research sector communities, and their research partners. For more information about AARNet, please visit http://www.aarnet.edu.au.

About Research Channel
ResearchChannel is a non-profit organisation dedicated to creating a voice for research through video and Internet channels. For more information about ResearchChannel, please visit the web site at www.researchchannel.org.

About Southern Cross Cable Network
The Southern Cross Cable Network provides the fastest, most direct, and most secure international bandwidth from Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, to the heart of the Internet in the United States. For more information about SCCN, please visit their web site at http://www.southerncrosscables.com/.

About SXTransPORT
The Southern Cross Trans-Pacific Optical Research Testbed is an initiative of Southern Cross Cable Networks and AARNet, supported by the Australian Government, that provides dual 10Gbps circuits between Australia, Hawaii and the US west coast. For more information about SXTransPORT, please visit http://www.aarnet.edu.au/news/sxtransport.pdf

About the University of Washington
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is a public research university with over 41,000 students on campuses in Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell, Wash. For more information about the University of Washington, please visit the web site at http://www.washington.edu.

About Intel
Intel Corporation is an industry leader in supplying the computing and communications industries with the "ingredients" of computers, servers and networking and communications products. For more information about Intel Corporation, please visit their web site at http://www.intel.com.

About AJA Video
AJA Video is a leading manufacturer of digital video solutions for the professional broadcast and post-production markets. For more information about AJA, please visit their web site at http://www.aja.com.

About National LambdaRail
National LambdaRail, Inc.'s (NLR) fundamental mission is to provide a network infrastructure for new forms and methods for research in science, engineering, health care and education, as well as for research and development of new Internet technologies, protocols, applications and services. For more information about NLR, please visit their web site at http://www.nlr.net.

About Northwest Gigapop
Pacific Northwest Gigapop is a state-of-the-art, advanced high-speed Internet service provider based in Seattle, Wash., and a next-generation network interconnector for Pacific Rim research, education and development networks. For more information visit
http://www.pnw-gigapop.net.