Educational CyberPlayGround ®

K-12 Now open to Internet 2

Open participation in the project to include K-12 schools starting in the Fall of 1999. Each member university will be allowed to partner with one or more K-12 school systems to offer connectivity through a regional switching center called a gigaPoP. To take advantage of the ultra high-speed access, participating K-12 schools must have at least category-5 cable with switched 100 megabit (MB) Ethernet connections inside their buildings and at least a 50 MB pipeline running into the school. Until now, I2 has been solely the province of the higher education community, though its high-speed access and applications eventually will be made available commercially.

There will be:

  1. Digital libraries.
  2. 'Virtual laboratories' and collaborative research.
  3. 'Tele-immersion' (shared virtual reality).
  4. High-definition television (HDTV).

In September, ResearchTV, a consortium of leading research institutions working to create greater access to research information, teamed with Sony Electronics to demonstrate the first-ever streaming of HDTV over the internet.

To enable these high-bandwidth applications over the second-generation internet, the I2 project incorporates the following new features:

  1. Quality of service.
  2. Multicasting (as opposed to broadcasting)
  3. Distributed storage.

Member universities and K-12 districts will be responsible for setting the terms and conditions of their partnerships to bring I2 applications and connectivity speeds to K-12 students.

Currently, 163 member universities—representing all 50 U.S. states—are involved in the I2 initiative, and there are about 30 gigaPoPs nationwide for connecting to the high-speed network. A complete list of members and a map of gigaPoP sites are available on the Internet2 web site (see link below).

Internet2 Project
Carnegie Mellon University
Indiana University's Variations Project
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Illinois at Chicago

Intro to Front Range Gigapop



Internet2 Will Expand to K-12 by Katie Dean 2:00 a.m. Mar. 5, 2001 PST

The high-speed network Internet2, previously reserved for research institutions, is expanding to include additional colleges and K-12 schools. That could mean a national education network connecting thousands of schools around the country.

Internet2 was initially created to develop advanced applications and networking for research and education. The backbone network, called Abilene, supports high-quality audio and video, and does not include the extraneous sites of the so-called commodity Internet.

According to several educators, opening Abilene to the larger education community holds tremendous possibilities. Potential applications for the project include a digital video archive of best practices for teacher training, videoconferencing that would enable schoolchildren to take a virtual tour of the Smithsonian, and allow for musical collaborations between musicians in different geographic locations, to name a few.

Currently, almost 200 universities pay to subscribe to Abilene.

A number of states have expressed an interest in connecting their statewide education networks to Abilene. About 30 to 40 states have such networks that, depending on the state, can connect K-12 schools, universities, museums and libraries.

There has been no official announcement made about the project, "just a series of discussions going on among a number of organizations in education and networking," said Greg Wood, a spokesman for University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, one of the groups involved in the planning process.

"A lot of other steps need to take place before teachers and students can use advanced applications," Wood said.

The International Society for Technology in Education, the Consortium for School Networking, and Educause are a few of the groups involved in the partnership.

The organization will release more details of the initiative in months to come, and there is no set date when the project will launch.