The Abilene Project, an Internet protocol-based advanced U.S. research and education network (see
The Abilene Project, an Internet protocol-based advanced U.S. research and education network (see Lightwave, June 1998, page 1), began nationwide operations, delivering high-performance network services to 37 universities. Abilene serves as a test bed for Internet applications of the future, such as distance learning, tele-medicine, and digital libraries. Qwest Communications Inc. (Denver, CO), Cisco Systems Inc. (San Jose, CA), Nortel Networks (Brampton, ON, Canada), and Indiana University are contributing equipment and services with an estimated value of $500 million over three years to deliver Abilene. As an Internet2 backbone network, Abilene spans more than 10,000 mi and operates at 2.4 Gbits/sec. More than 70 Internet2 universities and research facilities are expected to connect to Abilene by the end of 1999. The Abilene network is a project of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), home of the Internet2 project.