Internet2: The First 10 Years
Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 promotes the missions of its over 350 members by providing both leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. The timeline on this page provides some highlights from the first ten years of our collective history, and will evolve as Internet2 members continue to transform the way we work, learn, and communicate.
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34 Universities Commit to Internet2 Project
Internet2 is formed as 34 university researchers gather in a Chicago area hotel on October 1, 1996 and commit to establishing a project to foster the development of networking capabilities that would not only support research and education, but would also eventually make their way into the global commercial Internet.
First Internet2 Project Director Selected
Michael M. Roberts, former CIO at Stanford, becomes Internet2 Project Director. Mike transitions from his position at EDUCOM, where he was responsible for creating the networking policy program and served as Director of the Networking and Telecommunications Task Force (NTTF) at EDUCOM.
Internet2 Hosts First Member Meeting
Over 100 participants come together at the first Internet2 Member Meeting in Burlingame, California, where the preliminary Internet2 applications and engineering reports are presented.
Internet2 Formally Incorporated
Internet2 is formally incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. Applications Strategy Council, Network Planning and Policy Advisory Council, and Network Research Liaison Council form. Douglas E. Van Houweling takes over from Mike Roberts as Internet2 President and CEO.
Board of Trustees Holds First Meeting
First Internet2 Board of Trustees meeting. David Ward, then President of the University of Wisconsin, is chair.
Advanced Applications Demonstration
First advanced applications demonstration event is staged at Internet2 Member Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Canada becomes first Internet2 International Partner
CANARIE and Internet2 agree to connect the most advanced research and education backbone networks in Canada and the US. Through peering between the Abilene Network and CANARIE's CA*net II and CA*net 3 networks, over 70 US universities and 45 Canadian institutions have advanced network connectivity by the end of 1999.
Cisco Becomes First Internet2 Corporate Partner
Cisco Systems becomes the Internet2's first Corporate Partner, contributing goods and services worth more than $1,000,000. Cisco's pledge supports the collaborative effort by Internet2's member universities to build a next-generation Internet with advanced network services in support of research and education.
Internet2 Abilene Network Announced at White House
The Internet2 Abilene Network is announced at the White House with Vice President Al Gore, Vint Cerf, and others. The network is made possible through a partnership with Qwest Communications, Cisco Systems, and Nortel Networks.
First Internet2 Day
MCNC hosts first Internet2 Day.
First Working Group Meetings
First Internet2 Working Group meetings.
Industry Strategy Council Forms
Industry Strategy Council forms. Dick Liebhaber, Qwest Communications, is first chair.
First Joint Techs Workshop
First Joint Techs Workshop takes place at Carnegie Mellon University.
Internet2 Launches Middleware Initiative
Middleware is a layer of software between the network and the applications providing services such as identification, authentication, authorization, directories, and security. Internet2 launches the Middleware Initiative to promote standardization and interoperability and to support deployment of middleware services at Internet2 universities.
Abilene Network Operational
Through the support of Qwest Communications, Cisco, Nortel, and Indiana University, the Internet2 Abilene Network is operational less than eight months after being announced. As an Internet2 backbone network, Abilene spans over 10,000 miles and operates at 2.4 Gbps, a speed 45,000 times faster than a 56K modem. By the end of the year, more than 70 Internet2 members are participating in Abilene.
NCNI Becomes Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center
The North Carolina Networking Initiative (NCNI) becomes the second national Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC). The NCNI ITEC works with the Abilene Project Team and the Network Operations Center in Indiana, to help resolve problems that arise in network operations and perform testing on new network components.
OARnet Opens ITEC
ITEC-Ohio (Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center) serves as a national network-testing laboratory for the Internet2 community. ITEC-Ohio is a consortium of Ohio universities, government agencies, and corporate partners who examine critical new applications, infrastructure problems and emerging technologies in order to meet future needs in research, education, government and commerce.
Health Sciences Initiative Forms
The Internet2 Health Sciences Initiative was formed to serve the interests of, and enable collaboration among, Internet2 members engaging in clinical practice, medical and related biological research, and education and health awareness. The Health Sciences Initiative facilitates member efforts to leverage Internet2 resources to apply solutions to the medical domain.
First Internet2 Land Speed Record Set
A team from Microsoft, Qwest, University of Washington and University of Southern California set a new standard for transcontinental Internet performance by transferring 831 Mbps of data from Redmond, Washington to Arlington, Virginia (5,626 Km) in under 82 seconds to win the first Internet2 Land Speed Record.
Internet2 Convenes MACE
Internet2 convenes MACE (the Middleware Architecture Committee for Education) to help create a national interoperable middleware infrastructure for research and education. By designing pilot projects and inter-campus experiments and recommending technical standards, MACE facilitates the deployment of a common middleware infrastructure to support the academic community.
Internet2 Arts & Humanities Initiative
The Internet2 Arts & Humanities Initiative informs and supports the use of advanced network environments in the arts and humanities. Using high-performance network infrastructure to create global stages, enable remote instruction, allow participatory discovery, and open access to rich collections of media—Internet2 members are redefining how they create, teach, perform, and collaborate.
Internet2 VoIP Working Group Forms
The Internet2 Voice over IP (VoIP) Working Group forms to engage university and corporate technologists from across the community to discuss emerging voice technologies and strategies, investigate the broad implications of network convergence, and increase understanding of how VoIP can improve the scalability, survivability, and functional richness of voice communications.
Virtual Halloween Performance Event
The Fall 2000 Internet2 Member Meeting hosts “Virtual Halloween at the Rialto”. The live event features performances from artists at locations around the country performing together with artists on stage at the Rialto Theater in Atlanta, Georgia. The program includes performances by artists from the New World Symphony, the University of Delaware and the University of Oklahoma School of Music.
Internet2 SEGP Program Begins
Internet2's program for Sponsored Education Group Participation (SEGP) in the Abilene Network expands access to state and regional education networks through sponsorship by Internet2 university members. By December 2006, 38 state K-20 networks participate, enabling over 46,000 K-12 schools, community colleges, libraries, performing arts centers and museums to connect to the Internet2 backbone network.
Astronomy Observatories Available over Internet2
The University of Hawaii and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy connect 11 of the world's leading observatories to Internet2 networks via the Mauna Kea Observatories Communication Network. With a capacity of 45 Mbps, the new link makes it possible for astronomers around the world to remotely use telescopes located in Hawaii.
NSF Middleware Initiative Launches
Internet2 is one of several university-led organizations and research centers to receive part of a $12 million award to develop middleware. The National Science Foundation (NSF) award launches the NSF Middleware Initiative (NMI) to create and deploy advanced network services that make it easier for Internet users to access a wide range of resources available through high-performance networks.
Molly Corbett Broad Becomes Board President
Molly Corbett Broad, President of University of North Carolina, is elected Chair of the Internet2 Board. Broad chairs the Internet2 Board until 2004. Broad served as President of the 16-campus University of North Carolina from 1997-2006.
First Hands-On IPv6 Workshop
Internet2 hands-on workshops provide attendees the opportunity to build, debug, and experiment with advanced technologies under the guidance of experts. In the first hands-on Internet2 IPv6 workshop, students design and set up a functioning IPv6 network and connect to the global IPv6 network via Internet2. Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, and Microsoft sponsor the Internet2 IPv6 Workshop Series.
Internet2 End-to-End Performance Initiative
The Internet2 End-to-End Performance Initiative forms to create a framework for identifying the source of networking problems; developing measurement tools; collaborating with researchers on related projects; and fostering communication between researchers, network operators, and end-users. Work in this area leads to the creation of the Network Performance Toolkit.
Virtual Internet2 Member Meeting
Due to concerns about travel safety following September 11, Internet2 and its membership decide to replace our planned in-person meeting with a Virtual Internet2 Member Meeting (VIMM). Out of 36 sessions planned for the in-person meeting, 22 are presented virtually using both production and experimental videostreaming technologies, reaching an audience of over 7,000.
Internet2 K20 Initiative Launches
The Internet2 K20 Initiative brings together Internet2 member institutions and innovators from primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, libraries, and museums to extend new technologies, applications, middleware, and content to all educational sectors. K20 participants leverage the Sponsored Education Group Participant (SEGP) program to get the advanced network connectivity they require.
Science and Engineering Initiative
The Internet2 Science and Engineering Initiative forms to support scientists and researchers in their use of advanced networks for interactive collaboration; distributed data storage and mining; large-scale, multi-site computation; real-time access to remote resources; dynamic data visualization, and shared virtual reality.
"The Quilt" Forms Consortium of RONs
Over 15 leading regional research and education networking organizations (RONs) form "The Quilt" to promote and extend advanced networking services. The Quilt provides a forum for communication about technologies for implementing fiber optic network infrastructure. Gwendolyn Huntoon, of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, is The Quilt's initial executive director.
The Internet2 Commons Launches
The Internet2 Commons promotes and facilitates remote collaboration enabling the Internet2 research and education community to hold distributed working groups, classes, meetings, and events. Intially focused on H.323 based videoconferencing services, the Internet2 Commons expands to offer Real Time Communications tool suites.
First Hands-On Multicast Workshop
In the first hands-on Internet2 multicast workshop, which takes place at the University of Oregon, students design and configure a set of interconnected multicast networks. Upon completing the workshop, participants can engineer multicast networks at their home institutions, and explain multicast engineering concepts to peers.
First Middleware CAMP
Campus Architectural Middleware Planning (CAMP) workshops provide practical guidance to higher education institutions implementing identity and access management infrastructures. Tailored to IT management, architects and implementers, CAMPs offer in-depth discussion on technical standards, architectures, policy, process, and governance work. CAMPS are sponsored by the NSF Middleware Initiative.
Internet2 Detective is Released
The Internet2 Detective is a simple application that tells if a computer can access an Internet2 backbone network, how much bandwidth is available, and whether it can receive multicast streaming media. A small icon in the lower right corner of the desktop indicates at-a-glance the capabilities of a computer's network connection, which previously only network engineers knew how to obtain.
OpenSAML is Released
Internet2 releases OpenSAML, a building block for standards-based federated network identity solutions, such as single Internet sign-on for consumer and business users, and secure Web service transactions. OpenSAML is a freely available, open source reference implementation of the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).
First IPv6 Land Speed Record
The University of Oregon, the Oregon Gigapop and NYSERNet, set the first record for Internet performance using IPv6 as part of the Internet2 Land Speed Record competition. By transferring 3.47 gigabytes over 3000 miles (4810 km) of network from Eugene, Oregon to Syracuse, New York in one hour, the team set a Land Speed IPv6 category record of 39.81 terabit meters per second.
Internet2 Land Speed Record Breaks Terabyte Per Hour Mark
An international team, consisting of members from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and CERN, sets a new Internet2 Land Speed Record by transferring 1.1 terabytes of data across more than 7,000 kilometers (nearly 4,300 miles) of network in less than 30 minutes, representing an average rate of more than 5.44 gigabits per second.
OWAMP 1.0 Release
Internet2 releases OWAMP, an implementation of the One-Way Active Measurement Protocol. OWAMP is an application and a policy daemon used to determine one way latencies between hosts. OWAMP allows the user to better troubleshoot network traffic and enables network providers to better know the exact behavior of their networks and apply resources where improvement is most likely.
SDSC Becomes Third ITEC
The San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego becomes the third Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC). The mission of the center is to test and evaluate leading-edge technologies for high-performance Internet2 networks, working with developers to test and refine network hardware and software for optimal end-to-end network performance.
Internet2 Establishes FiberCo
Internet2 establishes the National Research and Education Fiber Company (FiberCo) to support regional fiber optical networking initiatives dedicated to research and higher education. FiberCo complements existing Internet2 network infrastructure by providing a means for acquiring fiber optic network assets. FiberCo helps Internet2 facilitate the ongoing development of regional optical networking initiatives.
Shibboleth 1.0 Release
Shibboleth, a project of Internet2's Middleware Architecture Committee for Education, allows Internet2 member institutions to share Web resources, across or within organizational boundaries, in an access-controlled environment. Shibboleth enables individuals in the higher education community to conduct inter-institutional collaboration.
First Performance Production and Music Education Workshop
Internet2 and the New World Symphony host a two-day workshop on "Producing Performances and Distance Education." The workshop features an overview of audio/video production to help members create successful interactive digital video/audio productions for performance and distance education.
Internet2 Commons Offers H.323 Videoconferencing Service
Internet2 Commons launches easy-to-use, multi-site IP videoconferencing solution—based on H.323 video and audio standards—creating an affordable and accessible service for Internet2’s members. The Internet2 Commons launches a training program so member organizations have designated Site Coordinators that provide support for Commons services.
Texas A&M University Opens ITEC for VoIP
Texas A&M University becomes the first Internet2 Voice over IP Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC). Voice over IP (VoIP) opens up a wide spectrum of opportunities to improve voice services, with the potential to advance voice far beyond plain-old telephone service. The Texas A&M ITEC focuses on VoIP security, assurance, and interoperability.
Abilene Completes Network Upgrade
The Abilene Network completes its upgrade from 2.5 Gigabits per second (Gbps) to 10 Gbps, quadrupling the network's capacity. Abilene partners Indiana University, Juniper Networks, and Qwest Communications provide the equipment and services to successfully implement the network upgrade. New routers are installed across the 13,000 route-mile national backbone, upgrading all but one circuit to OC-192c.
Larry Faulkner Becomes new Board Chair
Larry Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin, is elected Chair of the Internet2 Board of Trustees. Faulkner succeeds Molly Corbett Broad, the president of the University of North Carolina, who held the Board Chair position since 2001. Faulkner has served on the Internet2 Board since 1998.
SIP.edu Community Expands to Over 140,000 Users
Universities take the lead in adopting next generation Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based solutions for their communications needs. The Internet2 SIP.edu initiative promotes the convergence of email and voice identities, the growth of SIP accessibility, and the deployment of enterprise SIP servers. SIP.edu expands to over 140,000 users.
National Internet2 Day
The virtual National Internet2 Day features several advanced networking presentations and demonstrations from across Internet2's membership. Presentations focus on collaboration technologies and advanced applications for teaching, science, and research. A jazz ensemble provides live musical interludes, demonstrating the potential of advanced networking in delivering live performance events.
HOPI Initiative Launches Testbed
Internet2's Hybrid Optical And Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) initiative introduces a testbed for advanced network architecture experimentation. This national network testbed infrastructure serves as a foundation for cutting-edge experimentation and a model for the next generation of Internet2's network architecture.
InCommon Federation Launches
Incommon Federation launches the first nationwide trust network to link universities and resource providers—offering unparalleled privacy protection for users of online resources. Using Shibboleth, InCommon creates a shared trust framework for participating organizations to make attribute-based decisions when determining access privileges for protected online resources.
Martin Swany is First Internet2 Faculty Fellow
Internet2 selects Martin Swany as its first Internet2 Faculty Fellow. Professor Swany, of the University of Delaware, is chosen because of his deep experience in network monitoring, a critical element of Internet2's End-to-End Performance Initiative that enables researchers from around the world to better understand the performance of advanced next-generation networks.
Internet2 and EDUCAUSE Work to Protect Net Neutrality
Internet2 and EDUCAUSE work together with a wide coalition of organizations, to safeguard the founding Internet principle of "net neutrality" in telecom reform legislation. The coalition seeks to protect the openness of the Internet to ensure continued U.S. innovation and leadership in the global Internet economy and in research and education.
First IDEA Award Winners
Internet2 announces the first winners of its Internet2 Driving Exemplary Applications (IDEA) Awards program which seeks to recognize leading innovators who have created and deployed advanced network applications for research, teaching and learning. The four winning submissions were judged on the depth of their impact, the technical merit of the application, and the likelihood the application will be adopted.
Community Design Workshop
Internet2 hosts a Community Design Workshop inviting over 120 technical and executive staff, representing both current and prospective connectors to the Internet2 national network infrastructure, to provide their expertise and guidance on plans for building the new Internet2 national network infrastructure.
Internet2 and Corporate Partners to Deploy Next Generation Nationwide Research Network
Internet2 announces plans to deploy a new nationwide network that will offer 100 Gbps of capacity (10 times that of the current Internet2 network). The new network will be built on Level 3 Communications' optical networking infrastructure, utilizing Infinera's digital optical networking equipment and Ciena's CoreDirector multiservice switches.
Internet2 and ESnet Announce Partnership
The Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Sciences Network and Internet2 partner to deploy next generation network for scientific research and discovery. The partnership brings together two advanced networks which have a combined 30 years of experience in providing network support to thousands of researchers worldwide.
WaveCo Service Launches
Internet2 launches a new service, called WaveCo, to provide members with access to dedicated optical wavelengths beyond the Internet2 Network footprint using circuits provisioned by Level 3 Communications. WaveCo and FiberCo allow Internet2 members to economically own and use the essential building blocks of advanced networking infrastructure.
Signet and Grouper Release
The Signet Privilege Management System and the Grouper Group Management Toolkit, both projects of the Internet2 Middleware Architecture Committee for Education provide critical information functions needed to support enhanced role- and permission-based authorization control. The software enables consistent application of business access rules across managed services and resources.
First Wavelength Goes Live
The first 10 Gbps wavelength of the new Internet2 Network is operational between New York and Chicago. Achieving this goal just 5 months and 8 days after signing the agreement with Level 3 Communications is the result of dedicated, persistent teamwork by many people, particularly those at the Global Research NOC at Indiana University, Level 3, Infinera and Ciena. The team is on target for full deployment by August 2007.
Internet2 Marks 10 Year Anniversary at Fall Meeting
Internet2 member community gathers for the Fall 2006 Internet2 Member Meeting. This fall 2006 meeting marks the 10 year anniversary of Internet2's launch, which took place in Chicago in 1996.