Press Release on Internet II in NC
Follow up on the panel about Internet II
MCNC - Mike Clark
MCNC - Eileen Sarro
For Immediate Release
February 27, 1997
THE NATION'S "INTERNET 2" INITIATIVE TAKES FIRST STEPS IN NORTH CAROLINA
A 2.4-Gigabit network linking educational, commercial and government
institutions in North Carolina is now installed and operational, serving as
a precursor to the next-generation Internet.
Research Triangle Park, N.C. -- A unique public/private partnership of
industry, government and education entities in the Triangle region of North
Carolina has successfully launched an OC-48 (2.4 gigabits, or billion bits,
per second) network.
The portion of the network put into operation this week ties together a
partially state-supported private technology development center, a private
university, and two public universities (MCNC, Duke University, North
Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel
The GigaPOP was launched as a result of a unique collaboration called the
North Carolina GigaNet Initiative. The Initiative's Steering Committee --
chaired by MCNC -- also includes representatives from Duke University,
North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill, Cisco Systems, IBM Corporation, Nortel, Time Warner Communications
and the North Carolina state government.
The Initiative's efforts are led by Alan Blatecky, MCNC vice president of
information technologies. "The North Carolina GigaNet will directly support
Internet 2 and help resolve many of the challenges associated with today's
Internet," says Blatecky. "This next-generation Internet will aim to
provide quality-of-service guarantees for real-time applications such as
video streaming and distance education -- as well as manage bandwidth
on-demand and bandwidth reservation. These are the sorts of goals that are
driving Internet 2, and we are proud of North Carolina's pivotal role."
The North Carolina GigaNet will serve as a platform for the nation's first
implementation of Internet 2 architecture, designed to provide research and
educational institutions with next-generation internetworking, and at the
same time will better serve traffic requirements by creating a high
capacity point-of-presence (GigaPOP). An OC-12c (622 megabits per second)
portion of the network is in use now for immediate connectivity and
The SONET-based, multiprotocol capabilities of the North Carolina network
establish a very high speed distributed point-of-presence capable of
radiating from the center of the state. This configuration signals the
advent of the next-generation Internet which, through this accomplishment,
is beginning to acquire both form and substance.
Internet 2 efforts are focused on providing high speed network access for
academic institutions. The three Initiative universities are all charter
members of Internet 2. Bill Graves, interim CIO at UNC-Chapel Hill, also
serves on the national Internet 2 Steering Committee and is chair of the
Internet 2 Applications Committee. Graves points out that "Internet 2 is
focusing on applications, as opposed to connectivity. Emerging applications
such as distributed instruction, collaborative research and new forms of
publication promise to erase the traditional boundaries of classrooms,
libraries and laboratories, and create new opportunities for higher
education to meet the educational and economic needs of the nation."
N.C. State University Vice Provost for Information Technology Bill Willis
emphasizes that the "North Carolina GigaNet is also being designed to meet
specific local needs. It is critical that high performance network access
be made available across the region as many faculty members and students
live and work off-campus. Until they can have the same quality access as
on-campus students and faculty, N.C. State University cannot fully realize
the benefits of instructional technologies."
"Faculty doing research in areas such as medical imaging and cardiovascular
modeling at Duke University are particularly excited about the enhanced
capabilities that Internet 2 will provide," adds Betty Le Compagnon, Duke's
vice provost and chief information officer. "The improved national
interconnectivity will facilitate collaborative research and ultimately
lead to better, more cost-effective health care," she says.
Entities making this step possible go beyond MCNC and the universities.
Cisco Systems has lent its expertise and latest routing and switching
technology, and Time Warner Communications has provided the fiber
"It makes perfect sense for Cisco to participate, as we share complementary
objectives," says Cliff Meltzer, Cisco RTP vice president and general
manager. "By being involved, we can better develop and test for our
customers the hardware and software needed to advance internetworking
globally while helping create educational and career opportunities for many
people in this increasingly 'internetworked world'."
Time Warner Communications Vice President and General Manager Joe Webster
adds: "We're proud to help make this piece of history come about. Time
Warner Communications plans to play a role in the development of Internet 2
and North Carolina's telecommunications infrastructure development. This is
the first step in showing how networking can -- and will -- function in the
MCNC maintains advanced equipment and expertise in electronic and
information technologies to provide a competitive advantage to its
business, government and education partners.
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