Internet2 Abilene Backbone Network Upgrade Passes Transcontinental Milestone; First Phase of 10 Gigabit Per Second Network for Research and Education Complete

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 17, 2003 -- Abilene, the farthest reaching and most advanced research and education network in the US, today announced that the first transcontinental path in its nationwide upgrade to the next generation of networking is in service.

When completed later this year, the upgrade will quadruple the capacity of more than 13,000 miles of network to 10 gigabits per second, more than 15,000 times faster than a typical home broadband connection.

The Abilene upgrade will provide scientists, teachers and students at the more than 225 Internet2 member universities and research centers access to advanced networking capabilities, such as line-speed native IPv6 and scalable multi-casting, required by advanced network applications that do not work well or at all on the commercial Internet. The upgraded network includes significantly expanded network measurement capabilities and an enhanced capacity to support experiments by the computer science research community.

"Thanks to the combined effort of our Abilene partners, the path to this milestone in the upgrade process has been extremely smooth," said Steve Corbato, director of backbone network infrastructure for Internet2. "We expect Abilene will continue to be a catalyst for innovation, providing the research and education community a unique, large-scale leading-edge network environment."

Qwest Communications International, Juniper Networks and Indiana University are providing equipment and services to implement the network upgrade.

"The Abilene upgrade ensures that as research and education institutions' ideas grow, this super-high-capacity network is there to support them," said Cliff Holtz, executive vice president for Qwest global business markets. "This solidifies the Abilene Network's position as the leading communications infrastructure for the research and education community."

"Juniper Networks is pleased to play such a key role in this groundbreaking project," commented Pradeep Sundhu, chief technology officer, Juniper Networks. "The Juniper Networks solution ensures that member universities and research centers can operate the most advanced network-based applications and leverage next generation protocols such as IPv6- all with the predictable, high performance they demand."

"Upgrading Abilene is a significant milestone in achieving the goal of providing advanced network capabilities for teaching and research," said Indiana University vice president for information technology and CIO Michael McRobbie "Indiana University is delighted to be a partner in Abilene, to host the Abilene Network Operations Center, and to provide the hands-on expertise for this upgrade of Abilene."

Abilene, an Internet2 backbone network, enables nationwide testing of applications such as uncompressed high-definition television quality video; remote control of scientific instruments such as mountaintop telescopes and electron microscopes; collaboration using immersive virtual reality; and grid computing. Upgraded links currently reach from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, passing through New York City, Chicago, Kansas City and Sunnyvale.

About Internet2(R)

Led by over 200 U.S. universities, working with industry and government, Internet2 is developing and deploying advanced network applications and technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnerships among academia, industry, and government that helped foster today's Internet in its infancy. For more information about Internet2, see:

About Indiana University

Indiana University is one of the oldest state universities in the Midwest and also one of the largest universities in the United States, with more than 110,000 students, faculty, and staff on eight campuses. IU has a growing national and international reputation in the areas of information technology and advanced networking. IU, at its Indianapolis campus, is home to the Abilene Network Operations Center as well as the Global Research Network Operations Center (Global NOC(R)). For more information, see:

About Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks transforms the business of networking by converting a commodity - bandwidth - into a dependable, secure, and highly valuable corporate asset. Founded in 1996 to meet the stringent demands of service providers, Juniper Networks is now relied upon by the world's leading network operators, government agencies, research and education institutions, and information-intensive enterprises as the foundation for uncompromising networks. Juniper Networks is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. Additional information can be found at

About Qwest Communications

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leader in reliable, scalable and secure broadband data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. The Qwest Macro Capacity(R) Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking equipment for speed and efficiency, spans more than 190,000 miles globally. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at


      CONTACT: Internet2
               Greg Wood, 202/331-5360
               Juniper Networks
               Kathy Durr, 408/745-5058
               Indiana University
               Greg Moore, 812/855-0429
               Qwest Communications
               Vince Hancock, 303/965-6950