Internet2 FAQs

FAQ Index


    What is Internet2?

    Internet2 is a not-for-profit organization with the goal of developing and deploying advanced network applications and technology. With participation by over 60 leading companies and more than 190 US Universities, Internet2 recreates the partnerships that helped foster the Internet as we know it today.

    How is Internet2 different from the regular Internet? Will Internet2 eventually replace it?

    Internet2 is not a separate physical network and will not replace the Internet. Internet2 brings together institutions and resources from academia, industry and government to develop new technologies and capabilities. These new technologies may someday find their way to the global Internet. Close collaboration with Internet2 corporate members helps ensure that new applications and technologies are rapidly deployed throughout the Internet.

    Through their Illinois Century Network connection, ICN constituents can now access Internet2. How is this possible?

    In March 2001, Internet2 participation was opened to a new category of membership that was designed to accommodate the growing number of statewide educational networks like the Illinois Century Network. The ICN is the 20th member under this category, which is called Sponsored Education Group Participant.

    What is the goal of the Sponsored Education Group Participant program?

    The goal of this program is to bring Internet2 member institutions, primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, libraries, and museums together to collaborate on new technologies for advancing education - networking tools, applications, middleware, and content - and to provide these technologies to innovators across all educational sectors in the United States.

    What does ICN membership as a Sponsored Education Group Participant mean for ICN constituents?

    Internet2 eligible institutions (K-12, higher education, public libraries, museums) that are otherwise prohibited from participating due to size or fiscal requirements are now able to participate in Internet2 as part of the aggregate constituent group represented by the Illinois Century Network. Access to Internet2 will provide Illinois educators and students with educational and research opportunities previously available only to the larger research institutions.

    How will the Illinois Century Network connect to Abilene, the Internet2 network?

    As part of the Metropolitan Research and Education Network (MREN), Northwestern University will sponsor the Illinois Century Network's connection to the Abilene/Internet2 network. The physical network connection point will be at the MREN Chicago GigaPOP.

    What are the benefits of Internet2 access for ICN constituents?

    In addition to having access to content resources, ICN constituents will be able to collaborate with one another and other Internet2/SEGP participants utilizing advanced applications such as multicast, digital video, H.323 video and future interactive video and multimedia technologies.

    What are other educational institutions doing with access to the Abilene/I2 network?

    As part of the K20 initiative of Internet2, a web site has been established to showcase the educational applications being used by educational institutions involved in SEGPs. ICN constituents will be encouraged to share their Internet2 success stories as they explore the potential made possible by this access. Information about applications and institutional collaboration can be found at

    How will ICN constituents access the Abilene/Internet2 network?

    Eligible constituents will be able to access sites via Internet2 without making any changes to their current ICN connection. If a constituent requires a dedicated connection due to special application/research needs, inquiries should be addressed to the local Regional Technology Center.

    Do ICN constituents need to pay additional fees to access the Abilene/I2 network?

    Participation in Internet2 is open only to K12, higher education, public libraries, and museums. The SEGP membership fees assessed to the Illinois Century Network are funded by the annual legislative appropriation that has traditionally been supported by the Board of Higher Education and the State Board of Education. State funds are being used to support all eligible constituents.

    Will the bandwidth of constituent connections to the Illinois Century Network increase as a result of the SEGP?

    ICN constituent connections will remain the same unless the constituent specifically requests and contracts for additional bandwidth. Constituents will need to identify the applications they wish to pursue and determine the amount of bandwidth needed to facilitate those applications. It may be that constituents will need to upgrade connections to take full advantage of Internet2 capabilities.