Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass., is among a group of universities working to establish Internet2, a high-speed, private version of the Internet. Internet2 is a closed network dedicated to research on next-generation computer and networking applications.
To prepare WPI so it can become a connecting point on Internet2, the university is working with Lucent Technologies to upgrade its campus network. Prior to the project, WPI's network was made up of coaxial cable installed in 1988.
"We realized when we became a member of Internet2 that we would have to leapfrog today's networking media and give the school a network that would carry it well into this century," says Thomas J. Lynch, WPI's vice president of information technology.
GigaSPEED copper wiring and Accumax fiber-optic cabling will give the campus the bandwidth it needs. By the end of the 2002 school year, all of the coaxial cable in the university's 59 buildings will be replaced. In its place, the school will install five separate communications channels: three twisted-pair copper cable, which will be used for high-speed data communications; a lower-grade copper twisted-pair for voice telephony; and a pair of fiber-optic cable for very high-speed data, video, imaging and applications not yet imagined.
"For many years to come, our students will have the facilities they need to learn the most advanced networking and computer technologies of the day, and our researchers will be able to use these same facilities to push the technical envelope even further," says Lynch.