Internet2, a project to bypass the congested public Internet and link research institutions via a high-speed network, takes its first big step forward this month with the launch of the Abilene test-bed. Abilene will initially link 70 research institutions with 13,000 miles of fiber-optic cable looped between New York and Seattle and operating at 2.4G bits per second. Designed to serve the academic research community, Internet2 will not be accessible to the general public, but new technologies developed and tested on the network will certainly eventually find their way to ordinary end-users. At the Abilene site, users can learn about the project's history and participants, view a network map and technical information, and read the latest news and highlights.
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