Internet2, The Next Generation Internet

Internet2 is a concept born in 1996 as the needs of some universities and institutions where not being served by the traditional internet. Some universities met and decided to implement a non-profit internet that would provide high speed and high performance links for their use. The possible start back then was a 2.5Gbps network but that has since been upgraded to 100Gbps links.

One high profile usage is the CERN Large Hadron Collider coming fully online this year. Using this network scientists can work with what they expect to be 15 million GB of data generated annually by the LHC.

Initially Internet 2 worked by using a software detective that relayed a packet to a server to check the connection and bandwidth and then the time it took for a returning packet to get back to the sender was used as a means of confirming the suitability of the connection. Now Internet2 mainly works by allowing those who use it to set up temporary networks, called Dynamic Circuit Networks, to have access to very high transfer and performance rates for periods that they need it.

Such large bandwidth has many applications like videoconferencing just to name one, it is also being tested using IPv6 and developing the next generation of 911.

Since the danger is that they have created something that will cost more to access and use the advocates and project collaborators insist that they are for network neutrality, that is they oppose extra fees and charges to access certain networks or ‘parts’ of the internet that are faster or deliver more content.

Lots more to read about this promising present and future at the Internet2 website, at Wikipedia and articles such as this at Internet Evolution

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