Washington moves to Internet2
- By Brian Robinson
- Apr 23, 2001
Washington this month became one of the first states to provide direct access
to the Next Generation Internet — called Internet2 — for its schools and
That doesn't mean all the schools will be able to take advantage of
the super-high speed of the Internet2 backbone, which is about 1,000 times
faster than the commercial Internet. But even schools without the appropriate
fiber connections will benefit.
"The great thing about Internet2 is not just the high bandwidth," said
Ron Johnson, vice president of the Computing and Communications Department
at the University of Washington, which is the lead institution for the program.
"The most important things are the quality of service and end-to-end performance
that the Internet2 provides. After all, audio doesn't require very high
speeds to be useful, but it does require the kind of deterministic links
the Internet2 provides and that the commercial Internet does not."
Unlike the commercial Internet, whose growth is unsupervised and where
data paths are unpredictable, the Internet2 is highly organized and intended
to link a relatively limited number of schools and research establishments.
Because of that, Washington schools and colleges will be able to take
advantage of the advanced, Web-based, multimedia learning tools only available
on the Internet2.
"The real power of the Internet2 is the technologies it provides for
real-time interaction between people around the globe," Johnson said.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.