Part 2: A cooperative effort

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Joined by 25 other R&E and national network providers, Internet2 and Lambda Rail won a joint broadband grant to build what they call "Unified Community Anchor Network."

Interenet2 is building out a 3.2 terabit/second network that will come to support some 200,000 "community anchor institutions," libraries, community colleges, health centers and public service organizations across the US. The partnership is led by national research and education networks Internet2, National LambdaRail, the Northern Tier Network Consortium and Indiana University.

Keeping to the notion of a community-wide effort, Internet2 is working with other R&E network and community middle mile network partners in various states.

In New England, for example, Internet2 will connect the enhanced network with the Northern Crossroads Network, which is run by Harvard University, MIT, and Boston University in Cambridge, Mass.

Internet2 US mapOn a state basis, Internet2 would also interconnect with middle mile networks--some of which also are building broadband stimulus grant-funded networks--including the University of Maine's Three Ring Binder, to take the network reach further out into the respective communities.

Vietzke admits that while all of the capacity being built in many states "is not uniform, there's a lot effort to do this community anchor coordination in a way that's very familiar to Internet2." 

At the outset it could be asked how 88 wavelengths of 100 Gbps will be consumed. Vietzke is quick to point out that there are several applications that are ripe for this kind of a network. The enhanced Internet2 network will provide capabilities to both the traditional Internet2 community and the U.S. UCAN community alike.

"There are things happening that will consume it," he said. "There's the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) where the amount of bandwidth requirements is expected grow exponentially each year as it runs. We see 20 and 30 Gbps flows coming out of Europe right now, but that could be 100 Gbps next year."

Outside of the Internet2 community Vietzke foresees that in the U.S. UCAN community, there are a number of changes happening in the health care industry, public safety (NG-911), and telepresence for local schools.

In public safety, the U.S. UCAN capabilities could support low-bandwidth, but high priority NG-911 interoperability, while in the health care industry doctors are exchanging information (large CAT scans) between remote offices.

But one of the biggest consumers of bandwidth is the local schools using telepresence as a teaching tool. In the Boston Public School system, there's an initiative to put telepresence in all of the schools to participate in high definition sessions with the Lincoln Center in New York.

"In the traditional research and education space, it's these high bandwidth flows between a small amounts of users," Vietzke said. "In the U.S. UCAN space it's just a lot of users and not all their requirements are as heavy in bandwidth, but their requirements for performance, predictability and lots and lots of interaction are huge."

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Part 2: A cooperative effort