Thousands of Educational Institutions to Connect to Internet2 Backbone Network

March 9, 2001

Washington, DC—Abilene, a nationwide Internet2® network,

today announced state education networks in Michigan, Missouri, Oregon,

Virginia and Washington will establish connectivity under a new policy that

allows expanded access to the high-performance educational backbone.

Partnerships with Internet2 universities and regional networking

organizations will provide institutions such as elementary schools,

secondary schools, community colleges, museums and libraries access to the

national high-performance network.

Expanded access to Abilene supports the primary Internet2 goal of

facilitating the rapid transfer of new network services and applications to

the global Internet and especially the broader educational community, said

Douglas E. Van Houweling, president and CEO of the University Corporation

for Advanced Internet Development, the organization leading both the

Internet2 and Abilene projects.

Access to the high-performance backbone, leveraged by network upgrades at

the state and local networks upgrades, will allow expanded use of

applications that dont work well or at all on todays Internet. Abilene

access for:

    + Washington K-20 Education Network in Washington State will enable a new

    system of network-accessible professional development video library for

    teachers and education professionals

    + Oregon Public Education Network (OPEN) in Oregon will extend the

    capability of the Cyberschool program to work with partners at public

    schools around the country.

    + Net.Work.Virginia Next Generation in Virginia will support the work of

    the Virtual Institute for Technology Advancement in Education for

    Historically Black Colleges and Universities (VITAE-HBCU)

    + MOREnet in Missouri will allow fourth-grade students to access online

    historical information available in rich multimedia formats from

    Presidential libraries and public television

    + MichNet operated by Merit in Michigan will enable researchers to explore

    the use of an advanced form of virtual reality in distance education

State networks in Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma and Rhode Island are expected to

be approved for access to Abilene in the near future. Access to Abilene is

now available to educational organizations through partnerships with

organizations with existing connections.

About Abilene

Abilene, an advanced backbone network developed through a collaboration

among Qwest Communications, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, Indiana

University and the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development

(UCAID), supports the development and deployment of the new applications

being developed within the Internet2 community. Abilene connects regional

network aggregation points, called gigaPoPs, to support the work of

Internet2 universities as they develop advanced Internet applications. For

more information about Abilene, see:


Greg Wood:



Ann Fuller:

Nortel Networks:


Mojgan Khalili:

Cisco Systems:

+1 978-244-3022

Sara Faatz:


for Qwest Communications:

+1 (757) 851-4955

Brian Voss:

Indiana University:

+1 812-855-9220