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Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. The not-for-profit partnership includes leaders from research, academia, industry and government. In 2009, Internet2 member rolls included over 200 higher education institutions, over 40 members from industry, over 30 research and education network and connector organizations, and over 50 affiliate members.
Internet2 operates the Internet2 Network, a next-generation Internet Protocol and optical network that delivers production network services to meet the high-performance demands of research and education, and provides a secure network testing and research environment. In late 2007, Internet2 began operating its newest dynamic circuit network, the Internet2 DCN, an advanced technology that allows user-based allocation of high-capacity data circuits over the fiber-optic network.
The major goals of Internet2 are as follows:
- Demonstrate new applications that can dramatically enhance researchers' ability to collaborate and conduct experiments
- Demonstrate enhanced delivery of education and other services (e.g., health care, environmental monitoring) by taking advantage of "virtual proximity" created by an advanced communications infrastructure
- Facilitate development, deployment, and operation of an affordable communications infrastructure, capable of supporting differentiated Quality of Service (QoS) based on applications requirements of the research and education community
- Coordinate adoption of agreed working standards and common practices among participating institutions to ensure end-to-end quality of service and interoperability
- Catalyze partnerships with governmental and private sector organizations
- Encourage transfer of technology from Internet2 to the rest of the Internet
- Study impact of new infrastructure, services and applications on higher education and the Internet community in general.
- "Goals" section: Internet Report, An Examination of the NS/EP Implications of Internet Technologies, at 43.