Members of the Tufts community have access to two parts of the Internet: the public commodity Internet that most people use, and the high-speed Internet2 backbone shared among about 180 participating educational institutions.
The Commodity Internet
Everyone is familiar with the commodity Internet. It is a worldwide, IP-based network of computers and routers consisting of individual, group, and business customers of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as AOL.
Internet2, however, is a subset of the Internet providing higher backbone bandwidth services to educational institutions, such as Tufts, who have joined UCAID (the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development). UCAID is a non-profit consortium, led by university members working in partnership with corporate and affiliate members, to provide leadership and direction for advanced networking development.
By providing access to a higher speed Internet through the Abilene network, schools such as Tufts can join together and collaborate using high-bandwidth applications like streaming media, videoconferencing, virtual laboratories, digital libraries, and distance learning. These are just a few of the opportunities for education and research that are enabled and enhanced through Internet2.