Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Just how fast is Internet2?
  2. What does Internet2 provide beyond the commodity network?
  3. Why did WPI join Internet2?
  4. What is WPI's history with Internet2?
  5. What is the technological scope of Internet2?
  6. Whom can I contact about joining the Goddard gigaPop in Worcester, Mass?

Just how fast is Internet2?

When WPI joined Internet2, the standard pc LAN connection was a 10Base T Ethernet card. That transfers data at 10 megabits per second. The initial WPI connection to Internet2 was 155 megabits per second. These days, a pc will have 10/100/1000 megabit Ethernet. WPI's pipe to Internet2 is a gigabit Ethernet fiber. The Internet2 backbone is much faster and always evolving.

WPI's August 30, 2000 Press Release cites NEESCom President C. Pini, "Internet2 is about 45,000 times faster than the average modem. To appreciate how fast this is, consider that one could transmit the entire contents of the Library of Congress via Internet2 in just 20 seconds." Pini added, "But speed is only part of the equation. When combined with Internet2's incredibly high resolution and three-dimensional imaging capability, a host of potentially revolutionary applications become possible. Imagine a doctor being able to perform a surgical procedure or watch an MRI take place hundreds, or even thousands of miles from the patient."

WPI's Wire explained the speed of Internet2 in its December 1999 issue,

As the WPI Journal, Winter 1999 issue, stated, "the Internet2 project will give WPI access to a network backbone capable of carrying information 1,000 times faster than today's Net."


What does Internet2 provide beyond the commodity network?


Why did WPI join Internet2?


What is WPI's history with Internet2?

Part of the funding for the Goddard GigaPop came from a National Science Foundation competitive grant awarded to WPI in 1999. The NSF grant was effective July 1, 1999 with an expiration date estimated at June 30, 3001.

WPI joined Internet2, a national organization and research project in September 1999.

Students and researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have access to some of the most prestigious government, science, health, and university laboratories around the country through the "Goddard GigaPOP, L.L.C.," an aggregation center for high speed data traffic to the national Internet2 project. The Goddard GigaPop is a Worcester-based Internet2 joint venture by WPI and NEES Communications, Inc. (NEESCom), the telecommunications subsidiary of New England Electric Systems, a Westborough Massachusetts-based National Grid USA. NEESCom teamed with telephone companies and Internet service providers to create a high-speed voice and data network that will serve much of southern New England.

NEESCom, which provided the fiber optic network, and WPI, which developed the applications and provided the project electronics, played a leading role in bringing Internet2 to the region by developing one of only two major points of presence, or "POPs," for the project in New England. The Goddard GigaPOP, named for Robert Goddard, the Worcester native and WPI graduate who pioneered the field of rocket science, provides the area's academic institutions, such as WPI, and corporate research and development partners low-cost access to the project.

A gigaPoP is a network interconnection with gigabit capacity that allows regional connections to the high-speed backbond linking other points on the Internet2 network. The term gigabit refers to data transfer rates measured in units of 1000 megabits, or one billion bits per second. NEESCom President Anthony C. Pini explains the speed, "Internet2 is about 45,000 faster than the average modem. To appreciate how fast this is, consider that one could transmit the entire contents of the Library of Congress via Internet2 in just 20 seconds."

WPI completed the installation of Internet2 network in the autumn of 2000. The following companies supported WPI in this project:


What is the technological scope of Internet2?


Whom can I contact about joining the Goddard gigaPop in Worcester, Mass?

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Last modified: Jan 31, 2014, 19:19 EST
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