Scientists working for the Internet2 research and education group have been ungrading their national backbone network and think they will end up with a structure delivering 8.8 terabits per second bandwith.
According to a statement, the structure will connect the US Unified Community Anchor Network (US UCAN), around 200,000 community "anchor institutions"—K-12 schools, libraries, clinics, hospitals, community colleges, and such.
The big idea is that they will use the extra bandwidth to run telemedicine and distance learning programs across the US.
Internet2 is a non-profit organisation representing about 200 universities working with various corporations.
Currently, commercial networks are too congested to support broadband software like telepresence and telemedicine. They can't even offer IPv6 and IP multicast, which are critical.
The project uses Ciena's ActivFlex 6500 Packet-Optical Platform for the network. It has been used in Vietnam where a 100G backbone trial with Vietnam Telecoms National was highly successful.
That network spanned 500 kilometers, connecting the cities of Vinh and Danang.