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Research Network Infrastructure Launched
Sep 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 18 -- National LambdaRail Inc. (NLR), a consortium of US research universities and private sector technology companies, announced it is deploying a unique national networking infrastructure to advance networking research and next-generation network-based applications in science, engineering and medicine. NLR said it hopes to reenergize innovative research and development into next-generation network technologies, protocols, services and applications.

"For the first time," NLR said in a statement, "the research community has acquired a national dark fiber footprint that can concurrently support network research at the optical, switching, routing, middleware and application layers."

NLR is lighting the first fiber pair with an optical dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) network capable of transmitting up to 40 simultaneous light wavelengths ("lambdas," or "waves") each at 10 Gb/s. It is also deploying a switched Ethernet network and a routed IP network over the optical DWDM network.

Peter Freeman, assistant director for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation, said, "National LambdaRail is an important development by the community. It will contribute to the cyberinfrastructure that is critical to progress in every field of science and engineering. We are very pleased, because this can lead to significantly expanded access for many researchers and educators to computational, analytical and visualization tools, as well as large data repositories. This will help create new scientific opportunities across the frontier."

Cisco Systems Inc. is a key provider of equipment to NLR and a proponent of its research objectives. Cisco technologies, including optical DWDM multiplexers, Ethernet switches and IP routers, are being used in the infrastructure. NLR said it is seeking additional corporate participation and collaboration with federal research agencies.
Other NLR members and associates include: the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California; Pacific Northwest GigaPop; the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center; Duke University, leading a coalition of North Carolina universities; the Mid-Atlantic Terascale Partnership; the Virginia Tech Foundation; Internet2; Florida LambdaRail LLC; the Georgia Institute of Technology; and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation

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