The project will address major challenges of the next generation of university networks. First and most importantly, a leading edge network capability for the national research community will be created and sustained. For a number of years beginning in 1987, the network services of NSFnet were unequaled anywhere else. But the privatization of that network and the frequent congestion of its commercial replacement have deprived many faculty of the network capability needed to support world class research. This unintended result has had a significant negative impact on the university research community.
Third, the work of the Internet2 project will be integrated with ongoing efforts
to improve production Internet services for all members of the academic community.
A major goal of the project is to rapidly transfer new network services and applications
to all levels of educational use and to the broader Internet community, both nationally
Internet2 Project working committees
UNIVERSITY PARTICIPATION IN Internet2
At a meeting in Chicago in October, 1996, representatives of thirty-four universities agreed unanimously to endorse the goals of the project, committed their institutions to finding the resources necessary to participate in the project, and pledged initial funding to enable planning efforts to proceed without delay. A current list of members is appended to this document.
Five working committees were formed, and chairs appointed as noted below. The committee chairs will comprise an interim steering committee while a permanent project organization is formed and staffed. Gary Augustson of Penn State has agreed to chair the steering committee in order to maintain good coordination with the Educom Networking and Telecommunications Task Force, whose steering committee he also chairs.
It was agreed that charter membership in the project will remain open for a limited time for additional institutions who are in a position to commit the resources necessary for participation.
Joining the project involves the following basic institutional commitments:
Based on the information available at this time, it is estimated that institutional expenses of all kinds may reach $500,000 per year over the next several years. A substantial fraction of this amount may be covered by networking and related budgets already in place, depending on individual institutional circumstances.
SCOPE OF Internet2 PROJECT
The project will be conducted in phases over the next three to five years, with initial participation expected from fifty to one hundred universities, a number of federal agencies, and many of the leading computer and telecommunications companies, including firms such as IBM, Cisco Systems, AT&T, MCI, and Sun. The overall project technical plan and architecture is contained in a companion document to this statement entitled "Internet2 Architecture."
In the initial project phase, end to end broadband network services will be established among the participating universities. On a parallel basis, applications design will commence using teams of university faculty, researchers, and industry experts. It is expected that within approximately eighteen months, "beta" versions of a number of applications will be in operation among the Internet2 participating universities.
Internet2 PARTNERSHIP & FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS
As announced by President Clinton on October 10, 1996, the federal government will participate in Internet2 through the programs of its major research agencies, who will provide grant support in their areas of program interest, such as the NSF vBNS meritorious high performance networking initiative. In most respects, the partnership and funding arrangements for Internet2 will parallel those of previous joint networking efforts, of which the NSFnet project is a very successful example. Industry partners will work with campus-based and regional university teams to create the advanced network services that are necessary to meet the requirements of broadband, networked applications.
Funding for the Internet2 project will include both financial and in kind services and products of various types that will be necessary for the project. Since most of the project effort will occur on or near university campuses, it is anticipated that the majority of funding from government research agencies and industry partners will be in the form of grants to the participating universities.