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Internet2 milestones

15 key events in the 15-year history of Internet2

By Julie Sartain, Network World
April 11, 2011 06:03 AM ET

Network World - Internet2 has been around for 15 years, but it’s roots go back to NFSnet, which was officially turned on in 1986. Here are some other key moments in the history of Internet2.

SLIDESHOW: Internet2's Top 10 1sts and other achievements

Internet2 turns 15. Has it delivered on its promise?

1. 1985
The National Science Foundation began funding the creation of five new supercomputing centers. At the same time, the NSF established NSFNet, a network connecting the centers to each other and to other campus networks using TCP/IP.

2. 1986
The NSFnet goes live, using PDP 11 minicomputers and running at a 56k bit/sec.

3. 1987
NSFnet expands the network to 13 nodes and boosts bandwidth to 1.5M bit/sec.

4. 1991
The network continues to grow and reaches 45M bit/sec. Under the controversial accepted use policy, commercial activity is prohibited.

5. 1991-1995
A transition period in which NSFnet backs away from funding the network and allows commercial ISPs to take over, triggering the explosive growth of the Internet.

6. 1996
Thirty-four university researchers meet to create a high-speed network for educational and research purposes.

7. 1997
Not-for-profit University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) is formed.

8. 1998
UCAID changed its name to Internet2; announced plans for Abilene Network at White House ceremony featuring Al Gore. Quest, Cisco and Nortel are the technology partners.

9. 1999
Abilene is operational, a 10,000-mile, 2.4G bit/sec network with 70 members participating.

10. 2000
IPv6 deployed.

11. 2003
Internet2 transfers data from CalTech to CERN (4,300 miles) at more than 1Tbyte per hour.

12. 2004
Abilene upgraded to 10G bit/sec with Juniper routers.

13. 2005
Internet2 launches hybrid optical and packet network.

14. 2007
Abilene Network is retired and Internet2 switches on new dynamic circuit network run by Level 3 Communications.

15. 2010
Internet2 is awarded $62 million in federal stimulus money to expand and upgrade the network. Technology partners include Ciena, Cisco, Infinera and Juniper. The plan is to support up to 8.8Tbit/sec of wavelength capacity by completion in 2013.

Read more about lans & wans in Network World's LANs & WANs section.

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