CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
UI Information Technology Services
ISU Computation Center
ISU News Services
UI, ISU announce connection to advanced computer network
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Researchers at Iowa State University and the University
of Iowa have announced their connection to the National Science Foundation's
Very High Performance Backbone Network Service (vBNS), giving them access
to the most advanced internet technologies.
Currently operating in a pre-production mode and scheduled to enter
full production by July 15, the connection that allows the two universities
to access vBNS is called the "Iowa Research Point of Presence"
(POP). The Iowa Research POP will support advanced use of internet technology
in research and education. Researchers need high speed data transmission
to work with complex computer models, exchange large amounts of data and
link to supercomputers throughout the nation. Examples of ISU and UI research
and teaching that may benefit from vBNS include global climate simulation,
virtual reality development and genetic mapping.
The vBNS system is faster and less congested than the commercial internet.
Connections used for the vBNS also will be used for connection to Internet2,
another advanced network under development by U.S. universities.
"Our involvement in the vBNS and Internet2 assures that the state
of Iowa will remain at the forefront of national internet and World Wide
Web developments," said George Covert, associate director of the ISU
Computation Center. "Our universities will continue to play an important
role in the future directions of the Internet and the Web."
"With our connection to vBNS and our involvement in Internet2,
we can provide Iowa State and Iowa researchers and faculty a high-quality
network for their research needs, as we play a role in shaping the future
of the Internet," said Covert.
"The POP connection will support and enhance significant research
opportunities, and it is also a good example of the longstanding teamwork
between our two state research institutions," said Mike Noth, group
leader for information architecture and technology assessment, UI Information
"While providing improved Internet access for research, the POP
connection will also improve commodity Internet access by shifting research
traffic off existing Internet connections. That should make life better
for all of our Internet users," said Noth.
Supported, in part, by an NSF grant, the Iowa Research POP is located
on the UI campus and is connected to the Metropolitan Research and Education
Network (MREN) in Chicago. Through MREN, ISU and UI are linked to vBNS
and eventually will participate in the Internet2 project of the University
Corporation for Advanced Internet Development. Currently 51 institutions
are involved in vBNS and more than 120 in Internet2.
The joint project also involves use of the ICN, the state-owned fiber
optic network that provides video, data and voice services to educational
institutions and other public sector agencies throughout the state of Iowa.