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IXC flexes its new Net backbone

The telecommunications carrier unveils its new nationwide Internet backbone network designed for commercial and research data traffic.

IXC Communications today unveiled its new nationwide Internet backbone network designed for commercial and research data traffic.

The network, dubbed Gemini2000, will use technology from Cisco Systems, Newbridge Networks, and Nortel Networks.

Divided into eight core sites, IXC's network is now live in New York, Washington, and San Francisco. Executives said three more core sites are scheduled be brought online during the first quarter of 1999, with the remaining sites to go live by the third quarter next year.

Gemini2000 will have core site facilities, or central traffic switching points, in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Newark, Delaware and Austin, Texas.

As previously reported, New York-based non-profit network provider NYSERNet will be involved in the network, utilizing it as a regional deployment partner for Internet2, a consortium of 135 universities working together for new IP-based network technologies for their collaborative research projects.

NYSERNet, which established the first Internet2 point-of-presence linking 23 universities in New York state, will begin using IXC's Gemini2000 backbone in early 1999, executives said.

The National Science Foundation is now testing IXC's Gemini2000 network for compliance with Internet2 standards.

Meanwhile, NYSERNet affiliate Applied Theory Communications, an Internet service provider, will be IXC's first commercial customer. The ISP intends to offer high-speed tools and services for government, universities, and businesses. Applied Theory invested in IXC earlier this year.

IXC's high-speed network, capable of OC-48 speeds, or 2.4 Gigabits per second, could enable data to travel up to 1,000 times faster than today's Internet, the company said.

The name Gemini, meaning "twins," is in reference to the dual purpose of the network for both commercial and research and education uses, the company said.