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Main article: "NSFNET
The National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) was a program of coordinated, evolving projects sponsored by the "National Science Foundation (NSF) beginning in 1985 to promote advanced research and education networking in the United States. NSFNET was also the name given to several nationwide backbone networks operating at speeds of 56 kbit/s, 1.5 Mbit/s (T1), and 45 Mbit/s (T3) that were constructed to support NSF's networking initiatives from 1985-1995. Initially created to link researchers to the nation's NSF-funded supercomputing centers, through further public funding and private industry partnerships it developed into a major part of the "Internet backbone.
NSFNET regional networks
In addition to the five NSF supercomputer centers, NSFNET provided connectivity to eleven regional networks and through these networks to many smaller regional and campus networks in the United States. The NSFNET regional networks were:
- BARRNet, the Bay Area Regional Research Network in "Palo Alto, California;
- CERFNET, "California Education and Research Federation Network in "San Diego, California, serving California and Nevada;
- CICNet, the "Committee on Institutional Cooperation Network via the Merit Network in "Ann Arbor, Michigan and later as part of the T3 upgrade via "Argonne National Laboratory outside of "Chicago, serving the "Big Ten Universities and the "University of Chicago in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin;
- "Merit/MichNet in "Ann Arbor, Michigan serving Michigan, formed in 1966, still in operation as of 2016;
- MIDnet in "Lincoln, Nebraska serving Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Dakota;
- "NEARNET, the New England Academic and Research Network in "Cambridge, Massachusetts, added as part of the upgrade to T3, serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, established in late 1988, operated by "BBN under contract to MIT, BBN assumed responsibility for NEARNET on 1 July 1993;
- NorthWestNet in "Seattle, Washington, serving Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Washington, founded in 1987;
- "NYSERNet, New York State Education and Research Network in "Ithaca, New York;
- JVNCNet, the John von Neumann National Supercomputer Center Network in "Princeton, New Jersey, serving Delaware and New Jersey;
- SESQUINET, the Sesquicentennial Network in "Houston, Texas, founded during the 150th anniversary of the State of "Texas;
- "SURAnet, the Southeastern Universities Research Association network in "College Park, Maryland and later as part of the T3 upgrade in "Atlanta, Georgia serving Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, sold to "BBN in 1994; and
- Westnet in "Salt Lake City, Utah and "Boulder, Colorado, serving Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
The "National LambdaRail was launched in September 2003. It is a 12,000-mile high-speed national computer network owned and operated by the U.S. research and education community that runs over fiber-optic lines. It was the first transcontinental "10 Gigabit Ethernet network. It operates with high aggregate capacity of up to 1.6 Tbit/s and a high 40 Gbit/s bitrate, with plans for 100 Gbit/s.
TransPAC, TransPAC2, and TransPAC3
"TransPAC2 and TransPAC3, continuations of the TransPAC project, a high-speed international Internet service connecting research and education networks in the Asia-Pacific region to those in the US. TransPAC is part of the NSF’s International Research Network Connections (IRNC) program.
Very high-speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS)
The "Very high-speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS) came on line in April 1995 as part of a "National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored project to provide high-speed interconnection between NSF-sponsored "supercomputing centers and select access points in the United States. The network was engineered and operated by "MCI Telecommunications under a cooperative agreement with the NSF. By 1998, the vBNS had grown to connect more than 100 universities and research and engineering institutions via 12 national points of presence with "DS-3 (45 Mbit/s), "OC-3c (155 Mbit/s), and "OC-12c (622 Mbit/s) links on an all OC-12c backbone, a substantial engineering feat for that time. The vBNS installed one of the first ever production "OC-48c (2.5 Gbit/s) "IP links in February 1999 and went on to upgrade the entire backbone to OC-48c.
In June 1999 MCI WorldCom introduced vBNS+ which allowed attachments to the vBNS network by organizations that were not approved by or receiving support from NSF. After the expiration of the NSF agreement, the vBNS largely transitioned to providing service to the government. Most universities and research centers migrated to the Internet2 educational backbone. In January 2006, when "MCI and "Verizon merged, vBNS+ became a service of "Verizon Business.
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This article is based on material taken from the "Free On-line Dictionary of Computing prior to 1 November 2008 and incorporated under the "relicensing" terms of the "GFDL, version 1.3 or later.