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BellSouth Awards Grants to Georgia Tech, NC State For Research Into 'Next Generation' Internet of the Future

Published 06-22-00

Submitted by BellSouth Corporation

BellSouth today announced its support of an Internet2 research project, a collaborative effort between teams at the Georgia Institute of Technology and North Carolina State University. Internet2 is a consortium of over 170 universities, in alliance with industry and government, to accelerate the evolution and promise of the Internet. BellSouth, a corporate Internet2 member, will support the project with a $150,000 grant.

Along with concurrent Internet2 projects nationwide, the research could have as profound an impact as the introduction of today's Internet. Working collaboratively, Georgia Tech and NC State are delving into quality of service (QoS)-sensitive multimedia applications using a wide-area network and different data delivery service levels. The research has far-reaching consequences for revolutionizing applications over the Internet.

The two universities and BellSouth are part of the Internet2 nationwide consortium, whose purpose is to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies, facilitating experimentation and research into broadband Internet capabilities, and creating a prototype that may one day drive advanced applications throughout the world.

"BellSouth has a keen interest in driving the development of Internet2 technologies, since we expect to incorporate the technologies into BellSouth's state-of-the-art network," noted Dr. David Kettler, BellSouth vice president for science & technology and chief architect. "Ultimately, our customers will benefit from these technologies and BellSouth's evolving network infrastructure, a network that is already delivering a robust foundation for e-business and home computing applications."

Kettler leads BellSouth's Science & Technology, which is responsible for the planning and implementation of a fundamental transformation of the BellSouth network from circuit-based to packet-based technologies. BellSouth Science & Technology has a strong history of sharing and participating in research and development with prominent universities. This research is another step in BellSouth's ongoing cooperative effort to push the industry forward to deliver the services and capabilities that BellSouth customers demand now and in the future.

More than a faster Web or email, the new technologies being researched by universities such as Georgia Tech and NC State will enable completely new applications such as digital libraries, virtual laboratories, distance-independent learning and tele-immersion. For example, rather than watching TV, consumers may one day have access to programs reminiscent of Star Trek's "holo-deck" - a virtual reality, three-dimensional movie in which the watcher is "inside" the movie. For businesses, the new technologies may someday empower long distance completely immersive collaboration, significantly enhancing business processes and efficiency. For higher education centers, Internet2 may someday enable virtual laboratories where a researcher is "immersed" three-dimensionally in data or images of microscopic cells or distant suns.

The research being done by NC State, Georgia Tech and others on Internet2 could make these applications a reality in as little as 10 years from now.

"To me, BellSouth's technical input into the project plans and direction will be as important as their financial contribution, as it will improve the direct relevance of the research," said Dr. Mostafa Ammar, professor in Georgia Tech's College of Computing and the principal investigator of the Tech portion of the project. "Enhancing the current Internet with QoS functions will greatly improve the global network's ability to support high-quality multimedia applications.

This progress in turn enables a significant improvement over the quality of existing Internet services and the creation of innovative services which we may not even be able to imagine today."

"We are very excited and look forward to this opportunity to, jointly with Georgia Tech, conduct Internet2 experiments and research on a regional and national basis," said Dr. Mladen Vouk, professor of computer science at NC State. "We plan to use a combination of long-distance state-of-the-art high-speed networking links that join our two universities, as well as a suite of QoS-sensitive end-user applications, to study network-level, middleware-level and application level Internet2-type QoS mechanisms, policies and needs. We plan a series of joint practical demonstrations of our technologies."

As one of many BellSouth-supported research initiatives, the Georgia Tech/NC State collaboration aims to provide a greater understanding of the use of QoS mechanisms to offer different data delivery service levels. By classifying a network's traffic based upon various criteria, such as the type of application, or the user of the network, QoS techniques can prioritize or otherwise manage traffic flows to improve a network's overall speed and efficiency for specific needs, such as video transmission or voice calls. With the explosion of Internet traffic and the increasing needs of data-networking applications, it is important that mission-critical traffic receives the appropriate level of network resources. This research will develop an operational framework for deploying and testing QoS technology across a wide area network and across multiple domains.

To provide operational experience, the project will work with three advanced applications: real-time, full-motion stereo microscopy (such as would be used for remote micro-surgery; the Web Lecture System ( for network-based education paradigms and workflows; and an Interactive Multimedia Jukebox with entertainment quality video ( By using these three applications, Georgia Tech and NC State will utilize the differentiated services technology to discover how it may be used to provide quality of service to advanced applications.

Today, BellSouth Business Internet Services deliver the world-class security, reliability and customer service that companies have come to expect from one of the nation's top-rated Internet service providers. In an independent survey conducted by for Inter@ctive Week, its services were recently recognized as having the highest level of satisfied customers over all other major national providers. In addition, BellSouth has demonstrated a consistent track record of Internet performance, earning multiple A+ ratings for the past year by Visual Networks, a leading independent firm that measures the performance and reliability of large ISPs nationwide. These distinctions, along with redundant Internet backbone links, 24x7 proactive monitoring and management, low user-to-modem ratios and dedicated connections, place BellSouth's Internet infrastructure second to none.

For more information on innovative business offers from BellSouth, companies should contact their account representative, or visit BellSouth's Internet Services Web site at

The Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as "Georgia Tech," is one of the nation's leading research universities, providing a focused, technologically-based education to nearly 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Georgia Tech has many nationally recognized programs, all top-ranked by peers and publications alike. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech has more than 50 interdisciplinary research centers that consistently contribute vital research and innovation to America's government, industry and business. Other Georgia Tech news is available at

North Carolina State University is the largest of the 16 institutions in The University of North Carolina system, with more than 28,011 students, and is the UNC system's flagship campus for science and technology.

BellSouth is a $25 billion communications services company. It provides telecommunications services, Internet, data and e>commerce applications, wireless communications, entertainment services, and online and directory advertising to nearly 39 million customers in 19 countries worldwide. NOTE: For more information about BellSouth, visit

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