National Lambda Rail, Internet2 Merger is Off. Again.


[qi:004] National Lambda Rail and Internet2 can’t seem to decide whether they want to merge or not. The two entities that oversee stupendously fast networks have once again called off their proposed merger.

Don’t hate me for saying so, but not again(!) The two groups discussed a tie-up between August 2005 and June 2006, but nothing came of those talks. Then in March, they surprised everyone and unveiled merger plans — and it seemed like this time they were serious.

The combined entity could have, in theory, formed the basis of the next generation of very high-speed backbone and helped foster a new wave of innovation, in addition to acting as a backbone for community and municipal networks.

Well, not quite. In the end, the NLR board of directors wouldn’t sign off on the two joining forces. And this after the board, on Aug. 30, unanimously voted to continue to pursue the merger with Internet2.

Despite that, they couldn’t get past three main points of contention: the transfer of assets to the merged entity, its commitment to research, and the role of regional network groups under the new organization. From the looks of it, the Internet2 team was a little bit more flexible, but the very nature of NLR prevented the merger from going forward.


vijay gill

Dave, that is right, except no longer with AOL. Agree with the value being on the edge, not in the network, which is why who controls the center doesn’t matter as long as they make it transparent. See my presentation at SANOG in new delhi on this topic.

As for Mr. Pally, no, there isn’t anything these inet2 folks can do that the commercials cannot. They are not in any way shape or form faster.


Dave Siegel

10 bucks says that’s Vijay Gill from AOL. AOL’s backbone is a perfect example of a production network that makes the Internet2 look like a backyard sandbox compared to Santa Monica beach when comparing total capacity. Indeed, even Global Crossing’s Internet backbone carries 6x as much traffic as the total capacity of the Internet2 backbone.

IMHO, the real value of the Internet2 is not the network itself, but in the research and applications being conducted over it. Grid computing, tele-presence, security, IPv6 research… this is where the value is, and it’s not something that comes with a purchase of the network itself, because it’s the customers of the network, the Universities, that are conducting the research.

Joseph Pally

Vijay, Internet2 is the next generation of Internet (faster, with lots more capacity and addresses). Some even say that the IP addresses are going to get over in some years.

At the moment, it is some legal/political issues between the two organizations.


I am unclear as to what these networks do that aren’t available commercially? In most cases, we were running networks that had more bandwidth, more reach and far more relevance than either.

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