What is Internet2?
Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. An exceptional partnership spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government, the Internet2 community is developing breakthrough network technologies that support the most exacting applications of today—and spark the most essential innovations of tomorrow.
Led by its members and focused on their current and future networking needs since 1996, Internet2 blends its unsurpassed human, IP and optical networks to develop and deploy revolutionary Internet technologies. Activating the same partnerships that produced today's Internet, our community is forging the Internet of the future. To learn more, see our Information Kit, or read About Internet2 (PDF) for a quick overview.[back to top]
Is Internet2 a separate network? Will Internet2 replace the current commercial Internet?
Internet2 is not a separate physical network and will not replace the Internet. Internet2 brings together institutions and resources from academia, industry and government to develop new technologies and capabilities that can then be deployed over the global Internet. Close collaboration with Internet2 industry members ensures that new applications and technologies are rapidly deployed to the public. Just as email and the World Wide Web are legacies of earlier investments in academic and federal research networks, the legacy of Internet2 will be to expand the possibilities of the broader Internet into the future. [back to top]
How will Internet2 benefit current Internet users?
Internet2 and its members develop and test new application technologies such as IPv6, multicasting and telepresence, and network management and measurement technologies that enable revolutionary Internet applications. New applications require a level of network performance not possible over today's consumer-grade Internet. Much more than faster Web browsing or email, new capabilities developed and deployed by the Internet2 community enables completely new applications such as digital libraries, virtual laboratories, distance-independent learning and telemedicine. A primary goal of Internet2 is to ensure the transfer of new network technology and applications to the broader education and networking communities. [back to top]
What kind of technology will be needed to use the advanced Internet applications and technologies?
We expect that the capabilities needed to use new technologies and applications being tested and developed by the Internet2 community will be built into upcoming generations of commercially available products and services. Internet2 industry partners are working closely with other Internet2 community members to expand the capabilities of their products and services as well as the global Internet. For example, just as most personal computers sold today include the ability to use the Internet, tomorrow's commercial products will include the ability to use advanced networking capabilities. [back to top]
Does Internet2 have publicly traded stock?
Internet2 is a not-for-profit research and development consortium and does not have publicly traded stock.[top]
Why are universities taking the lead in Internet2?
University research and education missions increasingly require the collaboration of personnel and hardware located at campuses throughout the country in ways not possible over today's Internet. Moreover, universities are a principal source of both the demand for advanced networking technologies and the talent needed to implement them. Researchers, instructors and students at Internet2 universities are able to explore capabilities beyond today's Internet as they teach and learn and conduct science in disciplines ranging from the fine arts to physics. [back to top]
What about educational institutions that are not Internet2 members?
Participation in Internet2 is open to any higher education institution that commits to providing on-campus facilities to allow advanced applications development. The investment this requires may be more than many institutions can manage right now. However, Internet2 also supports collaboration by Internet2 universities with non-member institutions. Fifteen years ago, connecting to the Internet could be as expensive as participating in Internet2 today. As the technology dropped in price, the entire academic community benefited from the efforts of the initial research participants. We expect the deployment of Internet2 technology to follow a similar pattern. [back to top]
What are some of Internet2's long-term goals?
A key goal is to accelerate the diffusion of advanced Internet technology, in particular into the commercial sector. In this way, Internet2 will help to sustain United
States leadership in internetworking technology. Internet2
will benefit non-university members of the educational community
as well, especially K-12 and public libraries. Internet2 and
its members aim to share their expertise with as wide a range
of computer users as possible. This approach characterized
the first Internet and it can work again today. [back to top]