This background paper analyzed technologies for tomorrow’s information superhighways. Advanced networks will first be used to support scientists in their work, linking researchers to supercomputers, databases, and scientific instruments. As the new networks are deployed more widely, they will be used by a broader range of users for business, entertainment, health care, and education applications.
The background paper also described six test networks that were being funded as part of the High-Performance Computing and Communications Program. These test networks are a collaboration of government, industry, and academia, and allow researchers to try new approaches to network design and to attack a variety of research questions, Significant progress has been made in the development of technologies that will help achieve the goals of the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991.