The Boards of Directors of Internet2 and the National Lambda Rail (NLR) recently passed resolutions to discuss a possible consolidation of the two national high-speed fiber optic networks for education and research. A July 1, 2005, letter from Internet2 President and CEO Douglas Van Houweling http://www.internet2.edu/resources/20050701-Internet2-NLR-Consolidation.pdf endorsed the recommendations of reports recently completed by groups from both Internet2 and NLR that the two agencies work together to form a "single national entity responsible for the collective high-performance production and experimental networking needs of higher education and the greater research community."
Two separate groups (Group-A and Group-B) were assembled in February 2005, whose mission was to develop potentially effective and feasible plans for the possible merger of Internet2 and NLR. Both groups comprised representatives from Internet2 and NLR, as well as academic and industry leaders across the country.
Any potential merger will be required to satisfy the organizational requirements of the various services and activities, while minimizing the complexity of the overall result. A multitude of topics need to be resolved including: Membership, Governance, Network Services, Finances, Partnerships, Research, Culture, Network Infrastructure, Constituencies, Conflicts, Resources, etc.
In an effort to keep the community informed of the latest developments concerning the consolidation discussions between Internet2 and NLR, a committee of eight individuals has been officially appointed by the boards of both Internet2 and NLR to develop a merger strategy plan. The group will begin this important work immediately, with the goal of completing the plan by the end of October for each board's consideration.
The committee will include the following NLR board members:
- Tracy Futhey, Vice President for Information Technology and CIO, Duke University
- Erv Blythe, Vice President for Information Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- Ron Johnson, Vice President for Computing and Communications and Vice Provost, University of Washington
- Tom West, President and CEO, NLR
The committee will also include the following Internet2 board members:
- Larry Faulkner, President, University of Texas at Austin
- Don Randel, President, University of Chicago
- Jack McCredie, Associate Vice Chancellor of Information Technology and CIO, University of California, Berkeley
- Douglas Van Houweling, President and CEO, Internet2
The leadership of both Internet2 and NLR indicated they are pleased to have such a strong and accomplished team leading this significant effort. Each committee member brings a wealth of experience within the research and education community as well as a commitment to the mission and goals of the community to ensure a most comprehensive and inclusive strategic plan.
The objective of Internet2 and NLR is to put into place an organization that will provide the research and education community in the United States with greater access to experimental networking facilities and cutting-edge Internet applications and services. Through the consolidation, Internet2 and NLR hope to significantly enhance the community's ability to organize and execute the development of new technologies that will serve as the foundation for the global Internet of tomorrow.
For specific information and documents regarding the merger talks please go to www.internet2.edu/consolidation/. More information will be continually provided as merger discussion move forward.
Internet2 was deployed in 1996 by the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID). It is a consortium being led by more than 20O US universities, working in partnership with industry and government, to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies in order to accelerate the creation of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 is recreating the partnership among academia, industry and government that fostered today's Internet in its infancy. Some of Internet2's primary goals are to create a leading edge network capability for the national research community, enable revolutionary Internet applications, and to ensure the rapid transfer of new network services and applications to the broader Internet community. For information about Internet2 go to www.internet2.edu
About National LambdaRail
The National LambdaRail (NLR) is a major initiative of U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies to provide a national scale infrastructure for research and experimentation in networking technologies and applications. NLR aims to catalyze innovative research and development into next generation network technologies, protocols, services and applications. NLR's goal is to put the control, power and promise of experimental network infrastructure in the hands of our nation's scientists and researchers. For information about National LambdaRail go to www.nlr.edu