My guess is no one ever told you about Internet 2???
Yes, there is another Internet. The term "Internet" simply refers to a network of computers. The one that most of us use is Internet1, or the
"commodity Internet." Internet2 was created nearly a decade ago by academics at research universities as a noncommercial prototype—something like
what the Internet was back when just a few university researchers were logged on to ARPANET.
Like the commodity Internet, Internet2 comprises servers, routers, switches, and computers that are all connected together. Routers decide which way
to send information, and servers handle Web site requests and store information for retrieval. What makes Internet2 so different is that it has many
fewer users and much faster connections.
While Internet1 is open to pretty much anyone with a computer, access to Internet2 is limited to a select few, and its backbone is made up entirely of
large-capacity fiber-optic cables. Rather than Internet1, which is cobbled together out of old telephone lines, Internet2 was built for speed—the
roads are all wide and smooth, like your own private autobahn. Internet2 moves data at 10 gigabits per second and more, compared with the 4 or so
megabits you'll get using a cable modem. As a result, Internet2 moves data 100 to 1,000 times faster than the old-fashioned Internet.
More than 200 universities, 70 private companies, 45 government agencies, and 45 international organizations log on to Internet2 every day. Your work
computer might be linked to Internet2 already—you can use this Java applet to find out. Internet2
There are no secret Web addresses or special browsers required to log on, no buttons saying, Organizations that want to join up must
demonstrate a research-related purpose, pay dues, and meet minimum technical requirements so they don't slow down the rest of the Internet2
but there is indeed another Internet out there...