FARNET - Federation of American Research Networks

Contact: Heather Boyles
Wednesday, October 16, 1996
(202) 331-5342
For immediate release.


Washington, DC -- FARNET (The Federation of American Research Networks) announced today that it plans to focus on a broad range of initiatives in 1997 to facilitate the transfer of next-generation Internet technologies, applications and services to the research, education and related non-profit communities. FARNET will build on its efforts of the past year that included a highly successful workshop for the higher education community held in August in Colorado Springs. That workshop, along with a previous meeting in April co sponsored by FARNET, laid much of the groundwork for the development of "Internet II" -- a proposal released by 34 universities last week that aims to bring the next generation of networking to the nation's top research universities.

"As we push the envelope of networking technology, it is important that we broadly share what we learn from the leading edge. FARNET's focus for 1997 is right on target," said George Strawn, Division Director for Networking and Communications Research and Infrastructure at the National Science Foundation. In 1996, FARNET helped catalyze the higher education community's efforts to push forward that leading edge. In 1997, FARNET will turn its attention to ensuring that the broader research and education and related communities, including K-12, libraries, colleges and universities realize the full potential of evolving Internet technologies. In addition, said Jim Williams, FARNET's Executive Director, "We need to find solutions which are both financially sustainable and responsive throughout the research and education community, and it is to this goal that FARNET intends to turn its attention."

FARNET will pursue this agenda in 1997 by holding a series of workshops and strategy sessions bringing together the broad research and education community in both regional meetings and a nationally focused meeting in Washington, DC in April of 1997. "One of the many keys to this initiative is broad participation from within the Internet community," said Dr. E. Michael Staman, FARNET's President and President of CICNet, "and we are very interested in exploring ways in which leaders of other educational organizations, professional societies and the like can work with us to insure the greatest success possible." Among the organizations that will participate is the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). Paul Peters, Executive Director of CNI, explained, "FARNET and CNI share a commitment to a global information infrastructure that serves all of the sectors and addresses all of the needs of the research and education community. It's a big job, one that's tailor made for the sort of strong partnership that we already have and which I look forward to expanding in the coming year."

FARNET has already begun an NSF-funded project to develop a database of networking initiatives for the delivery of educational, government and other public services at the state and local levels. This resource is being developed to aid policy makers at the state and local level in their information infrastructure planning.

FARNET is a not-for-profit membership organization established in 1986 by state and regional networks involved in the development of the NSFNet. The membership of FARNET also includes commercial Internet service providers, network service providers, and local and long-distance telecommunications companies. The mission of FARNET is national advocacy for Internetworking with a primary focus on the education, research and related communities. FARNET is an executive forum for the exchange of information about the Internet and its applications and services, and acts as a catalyst for the transfer of leading-edge information infrastructure technology. More information about FARNET can be found at www.farnet.org

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