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Project To Rebuild Internet Receives Grants

July 31, 2008

An enormous project to redesign the Internet is slowly moving along with $12 million in donations and government funding.

Researchers wanting to rethink the Internet’s structure say a “clean-slate” method is the only appropriate way to fix the various challenges that have appeared since the Internet’s creation in 1969.

BBN Technologies Inc. is overseeing the new design of the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) on behalf of the government.  GENI will be a network where researchers can test new methods and ideas without hurting the current Internet.

The initial $12 million in funding from the National Science Foundation will be allocated to developing the new GENI network.

The Internet2 organization is donating 10 gigabits per second of dedicated bandwidth to the researchers.  In addition, National LambdaRail is offering 30 gigabits per second, although it won’t be solely dedicated to GENI researchers.

The bandwidth is enough to run 30 high-quality movies into a home at the same time.  It is thousands of times faster than standard broadband Internet connections.

Chief scientist at BBN Technologies, Craig Partridge, said the commitments from the two companies are an important endorsement of GENI.

Construction of GENI could begin in the next five years, and is expected to cost nearly $350 million, although Congress has not yet approved its full funding.

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