Public Affairs

September 29, 1999

University to Light Up New Optical Fiber Link

September 29, 1999  NR 17-1999

The University of Alaska's connection to the next generation Internet2 super-high-speed research and education network will be activated Friday, October 8, in a 2 p.m. ceremony at the International Arctic Research Center on the UAF campus in Fairbanks.

University President Mark R. Hamilton will light up an optical fiber, which links UA to the Internet2 and the Pacific Northwest GigaPop in Seattle. This connection will increase by 100-fold the speed of the university's current connection to the outside world. The University of Washington is making the fiber optic cable based connection available to UA at no cost for three years. WCI Cable, Inc., is contributing the connection to UW and the Pacific/Northwest Gigapop.

The new Internet2 connection places the University of Alaska as one of the top ten universities in the country for high-speed next-generation Internet connectivity. It gives the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center at UAF as fast a connection as exists at any other university super computing center in the nation.

This link enables the University of Alaska and other qualified research and education partners to become active participants in Internet2/Next-Generation-Internet development and will extend the new generation of Internet2 technologies, capabilities and opportunities to the entire research and education community in Alaska. Through this connection, the University of Alaska can continue its work in telemedicine, distance education, arctic research and northern scholarship.

The National Science Foundation helped set up the connection with a peer-reviewed competitive grant to the University of Alaska.

The University of Alaska and the University of Washington have a long history of collaboration in research, education and medicine including a partnership in the late 1980s in bringing the original Internet, then called NSFnet to the northwest and Alaska.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Steve Smith, UA Chief Technology Officer, 907-474-5120

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