If a dial-up modem connection is the size of a soda straw (in terms of how much data can travel through it), and a cable modem is the size of a water main pipe, then Internet2 is built on pipes the size of the water intakes in Niagara Falls. Internet2 is a new portion of the internet being built between universities and other government agencies, with the focus on educational opportunities.
I saw a demo tonight of a live piano duet between a man at the convention in Philadelphia and another at a University in Nova Scotia. With the backbone of Internet2 to transmit data at much faster speeds, this type of event is possible. Now, there are still delays in terms of milliseconds that do affect something like live musical performances, but there are huge implications for what we will be able to do in the not too distant future.
I’ll be checking out some more Internet2 (“I2”) demos this week to see what is going on with it. The “official” site on Internet2 is www.internet2.edu
***Update After More Internet2 Demos: Internet2 is so new that most are still trying to figure out what to do with such a big pipe. There are some interesting ideas out there – remote control of high powered scientific microscopes, NASA video conferences from space, etc., but the fact of the matter is that I2 is simply a much hugher pipe – finding a need for that much “water” remains to be seen…