NSFNET 20th Anniversary Committee

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NSFNET was a program established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1985 to provide advanced networking for American research and educational institutions.[1] Advanced networks consist of interconnected computers and hardware, which facilitate the sharing of data between remote locations. This networking backbone, which transmitted data at a rate of 56 Kbit/s, provided the necessary infrastructure to connect supercomputer centers across the nation by establishing key hubs within universities that supported networking hardware. Ultimately these advances facilitated the creation of the Internet, which became a global network of interconnected networks. Through a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation, Merit Network, Inc., and a consortium of Michigan universities, a collaborative effort between IBM, MCI, and the State of Michigan created the NSFNET backbone service in order to satisfy the research and education community's growing need for networked communications.[2] As a result, NSF contributed to the ongoing advancement of its backbone network by establishing T1 (1.5 Mbit/s) and T3 (45 Mbit/s) service upgrades, which greatly increased the speed of data transmissions. This increased the number of research and education institutions that hosted interconnected supercomputer centers. The University of Michigan became part of the NSFNET backbone in November 1987. Thus, by combining high-speed networking and connection between the supercomputing centers and subsequent regional networks, NSF created the "network of networks" that served as the focal point of nationwide networking and that laid the foundation for today's Internet.[3]

The NSFNET 20th Anniversary collection documents the event, "NSFNET: The Partnership that Changed the World. Celebrating 20 Years of Internet Innovation and Progress," held November 29-30th, 2007, in Arlington, Virginia. The event was coordinated by a committee of individuals from organizations associated with NSFNET (including Merit, Advanced Network and Services, MCI, IBM, and the NSF) and featured keynote addresses and panel discussions related to the network's development, key partnerships, the roles played by external and international communities, and the lasting impact of NSFNET. For more information on speakers and panel discussions, refer to the event program in Box 1. (or the online version listd below).

20th Anniversary Event Speakers Armstrong, John A. Aupperle, Eric Becker, Jordan Bement, Arden L. Bishop, Kenneth Blanchard, James J. Bloch, Eric Boivie, Rick Bosco, Paul D. Braun, Hans-Werner Brown, John Seely Caviness, Jane Cerf, Vinton Chon, Kilnam Farber, David Gage, John Gale, Doug Gerich, Elise Goldstein, Steven N. Greer, Chris L. Gruntorad, Jan Hahn, Saul Jacobsen, Van Jennings, Dennis Kadaba, Bharath Kahn, Robert E. Karin, Sydney Kenworthy, Jamie King, Kenneth Knopper, Mark Landweber, Lawrence Liebhaber, Richard T. Luker, Mark A. Macneil, David Mandelbaum, Richard Mankin, Allison Marburger, III, John Markoff, John Mayer, Marissa Mazza, Robert Mendelsohn, Noah Mills, David Nelson, David Newman, Harvey O'Beay, Ann Perkins, Drew Pullen, J. Mark Rekhter, Yakov Ricart, Glenn Schrader, William Shaffer, Henry E. Strawn, George Van Houweling, Douglas Villemoes, Peter Weis, Allan H. Wiebe, Walter Williams, Jim Wilson, Kenneth Wolff, Stephen Yu, Jessica



1. NSFNET: The Partnership that Changed the World. "About NSFNET." Accessed May 2012. http://www.nsfnet-legacy.org/event.php

2. Merit Network. "NSFNET: A Partnership for High-Speed Networking. Final Report 1987-1995." Last modified October 26, 2004. http://www.merit.edu/networkresearch/projecthistory/nsfnet/.

3. NSFNET: The Partnership that Changed the World. "About NSFNET." Accessed January 2013. http://www.nsfnet-legacy.org/event.php

From the guide to the NSFNET 20th Anniversary collection, 2007, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf NSFNET 20th Anniversary collection, 2007 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aupperle, Eric M. person
associatedWith Brown, John Seely person
associatedWith Cerf, Vinton G., 1940- person
associatedWith MERIT Computer Network. corporateBody
associatedWith NSFNET (Computer Network). corporateBody
associatedWith Van Houweling, Douglas E. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Computer networks--United States

Corporate Body

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