Delegates at this week's Internet2 Conference in San Francisco saw a demo of the Abilene project.
The network was unveiled by vice president Al Gore in April and garnered more that $550 million funding from the private sector and universities. It is now being developed by the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development.
The University of Indiana will host the central nervous system, the Abilene Network Operation centre, which connects more than 100 universities at very high speeds. Technologies developed on Abilene should feed through to the Internet eventually.
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