PULLMAN, Wash. — President Clinton announced Thursday in a speech in San Francisco that 29 universities, including Washington State University, will receive National Science Foundation grants to connect to an ultra high speed transmission network allowing scientists and engineers to share computing and information resources.
The President said the grants will help create the next generation Internet that will operate 1,000 times faster than it does today and unlock “the remarkable potential of the Internet for learning, for the arts, and as a means to spread our shared values.”
According to NSF, universities will receive approximately $350,000 over two years. The award will permit WSU researchers to connect to the very high performance Backbone Network Service (vBNS). Established in 1995, the network represents a $50 million 5-year investment. The project is being developed in cooperation with MCI Telecommunication Corporation. There are now 92 institutions networked through vBNS, and future plans call for the number to be expanded to 150.
The vBNS, considered the forerunner to the Internet2 network, currently runs at 622 million bits a second, and the speed is expected to be increased to 2,400 mbps by the year 2000. By comparison, the average home computer modem transmits 28,000 bits per second.
WSU’s selection for participation in the vBNS was based on the identification of several “meritorious” research programs which would significantly benefit from the capacity of the system for information exchange and computer processing, according to Mary Doyle, director of Information Technology.
“This grant is very important in WSU’s expanding ability to connect with other universities, and we are pleased to learn that the University of Idaho is among the universities included in this new round of grants, because its strengthens our regional capacity,” Doyle said.
The WSU scientists directing those programs are Julie Lutz, astronomy; Toshiko Ichiye, biochemistry; Steven Tomsovic, physics; Richard Hoagland, materials science; and Steve Elgar, John Hart and Jonathan Liu, electrical engineering and computer science. Principal faculty investigators on the NSF grant are Michael Miller, physics chair, and Anjan Bose, director of electrical engineering and computer science.