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47. vBNS-Very High Speed Backbone Network System - Nifty 50

Grid pattern

The very high speed Backbone Network System (vBNS) and the Next Generation Internet (NGI) are funded in part by NSF. NSF and MCI are entirely responsible for vBNS.

The vBNS is a nationwide network that operates at a speed of 622 megabits per second using MCI's network of advanced switching and fiber-optic transmission technologies.

At speeds of 622 megabits per second, 322 copies of a 300-page book can be sent every seven seconds.

Speed for research

Launched in April 1995 the vBNS is the product of a five-year cooperative agreement between MCI and NSF to provide a high-bandwidth network for research applications.

The vBNS is only available for meritorious research projects with high-bandwidth uses and is not used for general Internet traffic.

The vBNS provides to NSF-designated organizations a high-performance production research platform with service features and performance characteristics designed to be one step ahead of what is currently available with the commercial Internet.

vBNS and the Internet

What's the difference between the vBNS and the Internet?

The Internet is a ubiquitous network that has become an information tool for researchers, students, teachers, business and the general public.

The vBNS is a noncommercial research platform for the advancement and development of high-speed scientific and engineering applications, data routing and data-switching capabilities. NSF's vBNS is the key part of the NGI efforts. The NGI is the product of DOD, DOE, NASA, NIH, and NIST and NSF.

Original publication date: April 2000

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