Public Affairs

May 07, 2002

UA Team Helps Set New Intercontinental Internet Performance Records in Internet2 Land Speed Record competition

May 7, 2002  NR 08-02

An international team that included the University of Alaska set a new record for Internet performance by transferring the equivalent of an entire compact disc’s contents across more than 7,608 miles (12,272 km) of network in 13 seconds. The rate of 401 megabits per second achieved in transferring 625 megabytes of data from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Amsterdam in the Netherlands is over 8,000 times greater than the fastest dial-up modem.

The record-setting team consisted of the University of Alaska; the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam and SURFnet, the national computer network for higher education and research in the Netherlands. In setting the new Internet2 Land Speed Record (I2-LSR) they used the networking capabilities of the Pacific Northwest Gigapop, an access point to leading-edge networks; the Internet2 Abilene backbone network; StarLight, the advanced optical infrastructure and proving ground in Chicago, Illinois; and SURFnet.

The high-speed SURFnet connections used to set this record were developed as part of the GigaPort project, the Dutch Next Generation Internet initiative. The interconnection between SURFnet’s PoPs in Amsterdam and Chicago uses Global Crossing’s virtual private network service. On both ends standard PClike hardware running Debian GNU/LINUX was used.

“Today’s high performance internet networks in at least the US and the Netherlands, as well as the interconnection between the two, have no bottlenecks any more for high speed data applications,” said Erik-Jan Bos, Manager Network Services at SURFnet. “What we found is that the bottleneck has shifted towards the very end of the connections: the computers in use with limited bandwidths on the bus.”

“This shows that geography is no barrier to advanced network applications,” said Kerry Digou, systems programmer who headed the University of Alaska team. “Using standard equipment and infrastructure developed in the Internet2 community, we’ve pushed the boundaries to the edges.”

Assisting Digou on the team was another senior systems programmer, Ajay Nautiyal, and they were supported by Ian Hegdal, manager of IT’s Network Engineering section.

Cees de Laat, researcher at the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam and member of the Grid Forum Steering Group, adds: “High speed backbones are essential for today’s Grid Applications where scientists on a global scale want to handle terabyte size datasets in international collaborations. This Land Speed Record shows what two distant locations can do together when they set their mind to it.”

“The new Internet2 Land Speed Record demonstrates that high performance networking is not constrained by national boundaries,” said Rich Carlson, network research scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, and chair of the I2-LSR judging panel. “The international team involved in this effort has set a new standard for wide area, high performance networking.”’

Entries were judged on a combination of how much bandwidth they used and how much distance they covered end-to-end, using standard Internet (TCP/IP) protocols. The Internet2 Land Speed Record is an open and ongoing competition. Details of the winning entries, complete rules, submission guidelines and additional details are available at: l

About Internet2®
Led by over 190 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 SURFnet and GigaPort
SURFnet operates and innovates the national research network, to which 150 institutions in higher education and research in the Netherlands are connected. To remain in the lead SURFnet puts in a sustained effort to improve the infrastructure and to develop new applications to give users faster and better access to new Internet services. SURFnet is partner in GigaPort, a project of the Dutch government, trade and industry, educational institutions and research institutes, which aims to give the Netherlands a head start in the development and use of advanced and innovative Internet technology. For more information, see: and

The Faculty of Science of University of Amsterdam
The Advanced Internet Research group of the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science researches new architectures and protocols for the Internet. It actively participates in worldwide standardization organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force and the Global Grid Forum. The group conducts experiments with extremely high-speed network infrastructures. The Institute carries out groundbreaking research in the fields of security, authorization, authentication and accounting for Grid environments. The Institute is developing a virtual laboratory based on Grid technology for e-science appl)cations. For more information, see:

About the University of Alaska
The University of Alaska is Alaska’s only public system of higher education. The system, which covers an area one-fifth the size of the contiguous United States, is comprised of three multi-mission universities located in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau with extended satellite colleges and sites throughout Alaska that provide educational services to urban and rural populations of diverse cultural backgrounds. The university is a land-, sea-, and space-grant institution with strong state and federally funded research programs. For more information, see:

About Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) & Pacific Wave
Pacific Northwest Gigapop is the Northwest’s Next Generation Internet, Internet2/Abilene applications cooperative, testbed, point of presence, and home to the Pacific Wave International Peering Service. PNWGP and Pacific Wave connect together high-performance international and federal research networks with universities, research organizations, and leading-edge research and development and new-media enterprises throughout Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Canada, Australia, and Japan. For more information visit and

Greg Wood
NR 8-02

Sandra Passchier
+31 30-2305305

Robert L. Miller
University of Alaska

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