as the Internet Protocol Next Generation)16 includes the necessary technical components to support security, authentication, delivery of multimedia, and the continuing growth of the Internet. Several implementations of the proposed standard are now available.17 As with telephones, circuit and switch technology readily supports network control and accounting during connection creation and breakdown. The ATM forum18 is leading much of the work in this area. These initiatives will help applications developers to implement the functions necessary to make networks commercially viable.

The functionality provided by fine-grain network control will support additional penetration of network equipment and services into the market, which should in turn drive down equipment costs and provide an infrastructure to support community services such as network access to the public libraries. The technology also can be used to protect proprietary information and allow publishers and others to make better use of the Internet.

Increasing Use of Intranets

Tools for searching and creating HTML pages, internetworking hardware (e.g., routers), and strong dependency on electronic mail have supported the rapid growth within corporations of private networks known as intranets. These networks provide reliable service, high-performance access, and information protection not afforded by the public Internet. Today, sales are brisk for intranet products such as browsers, servers, and search engines for internal corporate applications. A high-profile example is the Hewlett Packard intranet, which links more than 110,000 PCs and workstations and transfers over 5 terabytes of data per month. Hewlett Packard also supports public bulletin boards with company or product information that dispense over 15 terabytes of data per month.19

The interest in intranets is also evident in initiatives to support priority research and education needs. Prominent among these is the Internet II project, which initially is connecting approximately 100 universities over a private, reserved backbone with 622-Mbps links.20 This type of network could be used more broadly by the scientific community and extended to reach international partners to solve specific needs for bandwidth and for real-time control.


Table 2.3 summarizes six major technical barriers to the international transfer of scientific data and information within the context of the trends discussed above. These are cases in which the trend, while generally favorable, produces a negative consequence or side effect.

Internet Congestion Becoming a Serious Problem21

The scientific and technical community once dominated the Internet and

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