Whopping US research network completed

The National LambdaRail consortium has announced completion of its 10,000-mile-plus fiber-optic network across the United States in an effort to support research on advanced network technologies and applications.

The optical, Ethernet and IP network took three years to build and cost about US$100 million in funding by members, which include research institutions and vendors, such as Duke University, Internet2 and Cisco. The network supports up to 40 lightpaths, each of which handles up to 10Gbps and can be used to support separate experiments.

The National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and others are already exploiting the network for assorted projects.

Participants told Network World recently that although the network is firmly planted in the research community, many technologies tested on the network could make their way into the commercial world in months and years to come.

The consortium recently named a council of scientists to help guide its direction.

Researchers are hungrier than ever for advanced networks on which to do their research. In fact, an NSF effort dubbed GENI (Global Environment for Networking Innovations) will get a public hearing next week. The NSF calls GENI "a shared, global facility designed to catalyze research on network architectures, services and applications."

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