PSC Will Help Bring High-Speed Networking to Households

PITTSBURGH, September 24, 2003 — The National Science Foundation has awarded $7.5 million to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and seven other institutions to bring high-speed Internet connections to American homes. The award, through NSF’s Information Technology Research program, was announced Sept. 17.

PSC will contribute networking experts and infrastructure to help develop a testbed for a future, high-speed Internet.

The project, tentatively dubbed “100 x 100,” will wire households with 100 megabit per second (Mbps) Internet connections — about 100 times faster than currently available broadband connections — with the ultimate goal of upgrading 100 million households within the next few years. Together with Carnegie Mellon University, Fraser Research, Rice University, the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, Internet2 and ATT Research, PSC will help design and implement testbed networks in Pittsburgh, Pa., Houston, Texas and Princeton, NJ and a national network to link the testbeds.

“The Internet wasn’t designed with high-speed, home access in mind,” said PSC network engineer Matt Mathis, who will help design the architecture of the new networks. “For 100 Mbps to every home to work, we have to rethink the fundamental design of the network.” Mathis, an expert on network tuning, will work on network protocols to ensure that advanced applications, such as video on demand, meet the expectations of high-speed, home users.

PSC will also contribute resources at the Pittsburgh GigaPoP to the effort. The GigaPoP — a high-speed network crossroads — manages fiber-optic cable connections to Internet backbones and Abilene, an exclusive, high-speed research network. These high-bandwidth connections will provide access to resources such as digital libraries and the Visible Human database — resources that require high-speed connections and that will demonstrate the potential of 100 Mbps to the home.

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with the Westinghouse Electric Company. It was established in 1986 and is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.

For more information:
CMU scientist takes lead role in rewiring America for a faster Internet, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 18, 2003.

Data Privacy, Emergency Response, Weather Prediction to Benefit from Information Technology Advances, National Science Foundation, September 17, 2003.

Data Carnegie Mellon Leads Team Receiving $7.5 Million from NSF to Develop High Speed Telecommunications Network Reaching Every Home in America, Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, September 24, 2003.