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Internet2 Should Trickle Down
Monday, October 18, 1999

Filed at 3:54 p.m. EST
By Saroja Girishankar for InternetWeek, CMPnet

The Internet2 initiative could let users have their cake and eat it, too.

Corporate customers could have access to broad, trouble-free road space on the Internet and run reliable, bandwidth-intensive business applications that range from monitoring assembly lines and guiding surgery across the
world to handling voluminous real-time trading. At least that is what Internet2 advocates say will ultimately trickle down to the present-day Internet.
Users, however, were only cautiously impressed.
“The possibilities for corporations are enormous; the caveat is timing and ubiquitousness,” said Steve Hahn, senior project manager of Internet technology at the New York financial-services house Newberger & Berman.
Internet2 is a project of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, a group that represents the efforts of 130 U.S. universities and some government and corporate sponsors. UCAID’s goal is to develop advanced, collaborative Internet applications for research and higher education.
The initial bandwidth for developing and testing these applications is the $500 million Abilene experimental subnetwork that links more than 50 universities over a 2.4-gigabit-per-second backbone. The subnetwork made its debut last month.
“The present Web came from the research community, and so will come unprecedented commercial and other applications for the Web from the Internet2 initiative,” said John Patrick, IBM’s vice president of Internet technology.
“Internet2 will add new protocols and middleware that will move mission-critical applications to the public Internet,” said Douglas Van Houweling, president and CEO of Internet2.
Patrick said he expects some Internet2 applications will be set for testing by year’s end.
(c) 1999 CMP Media Inc.