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Abilene Gets 10-Gig Upgrade

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2/17/2003
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WASHINGTON -- Abilene, the farthest reaching and most advanced research and education network in the US, today announced that the first transcontinental path in its nationwide upgrade to the next generation of networking is in service. When completed later this year, the upgrade will quadruple the capacity of more than 13,000 miles of network to 10 gigabits per second, more than 15,000 times faster than a typical home broadband connection. The Abilene upgrade will provide scientists, teachers and students at the more than 225 Internet2 member universities and research centers access to advanced networking capabilities, such as line-speed native IPv6 and scalable multi-casting, required by advanced network applications that do not work well or at all on the commercial Internet. The upgraded network includes significantly expanded network measurement capabilities and an enhanced capacity to support experiments by the computer science research community. "Thanks to the combined effort of our Abilene partners, the path to this milestone in the upgrade process has been extremely smooth," said Steve Corbato, director of backbone network infrastructure for Internet2. "We expect Abilene will continue to be a catalyst for innovation, providing the research and education community a unique, large-scale leading-edge network environment." Qwest Communications International, Juniper Networks and Indiana University are providing equipment and services to implement the network upgrade. "The Abilene upgrade ensures that as research and education institutions' ideas grow, this super-high-capacity network is there to support them," said Cliff Holtz, executive vice president for Qwest global business markets. "This solidifies the Abilene Network's position as the leading communications infrastructure for the research and education community." "Juniper Networks is pleased to play such a key role in this groundbreaking project," commented Pradeep Sundhu, chief technology officer, Juniper Networks. "The Juniper Networks solution ensures that member universities and research centers can operate the most advanced network-based applications and leverage next generation protocols such as IPv6- all with the predictable, high performance they demand." "Upgrading Abilene is a significant milestone in achieving the goal of providing advanced network capabilities for teaching and research," said Indiana University vice president for information technology and CIO Michael McRobbie "Indiana University is delighted to be a partner in Abilene, to host the Abilene Network Operations Center, and to provide the hands-on expertise for this upgrade of Abilene." Abilene, an Internet2 backbone network, enables nationwide testing of applications such as uncompressed high-definition television quality video; remote control of scientific instruments such as mountaintop telescopes and electron microscopes; collaboration using immersive virtual reality; and grid computing. Upgraded links currently reach from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, passing through New York City, Chicago, Kansas City and Sunnyvale. Internet2 Indiana University Juniper Networks Inc. Qwest Communications International Inc.

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