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NSF (National Science Foundation) and NSFnet
Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.
The NSF is a U.S. government agency that promotes and funds science research, scientific projects, and the infrastructure required for scientific research. In the mid-1980s, it became interested in the technology of the ARPANET and started funding the development of a backbone network that would link academic and research sites. Initially, these sites were its supercomputer centers. By the late 1980, it began building the NSFNET.
NSFNET was a testbed that led to the development of high-speed networking technologies. Later, NSF turned the NSFNET over to commercial use and the Internet expanded using the technology developed by the NSF project. This project is discussed under "Internet Architecture and Backbone."
Later, NSF funded the vBNS (very high speed Backbone Network Service), which was an experiment in much higher backbone speeds and improved router. Today, NSF supports the work of Internet2, a collaborative project sponsored by UCAID (University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development), a consortium of over 180 U.S. universities. Internet2 is testing even more advanced Internet technologies.
The following RFCs provide more information about the NSF's role in the early Internet. Also see "Routing on the Internet" for historical information about the development of routing techniques in the NSFNET.
Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.