The future of Internet

Internet, or as we know of it, is going to need a massive facelift in years to come. What technologies will become dominant, no one knows. However, you can take a glimpse into the future with the National Lambda Rail (NLR) project.

CNET says that NLR is an all-optical network consisting of thousands of miles of fiber; it’s the first such network of its kind. NLR’s research focus–and potential future impact on the commercial market–are leading some networking experts to make comparisons between the project and the early investments that led to the Internet itself. NLR completed the first full East-West phase of deployment, which included links between Denver and Chicago, Atlanta and Jacksonville, and Seattle and Denver. Phase two, which is expected to be complete by May or June 2005, will cover the southern region of the United States. This part of the project will link universities from Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Salt Lake City and New York.

The big winners of this massive experiment in optical networking technologies will include companies like Corning, Qwest Communications, JDS Uniphase, and of course Nortel Networks. So how is this different from Internet2.

While Internet2 users share a single 10gbps network, NLR users can have their own dedicated 10gbps link to themselves. Because Internet2 is a shared network, researchers are constantly trying to tune the infrastructure to increase performance, measured by so-called Land Speed Record tests.

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