RealTime IT News

IXC Activates New High-Speed Network

IXC Communications Inc. Monday unveiled Gemini 2000, a new coast-to-coast next-generation Internet backbone that will serve businesses and research institutions.

The network operates at speeds of OC-48, or 2.4 gigabits per second. It is segmented into eight geographic regions, with each containing a central traffic aggregation point. It will eventually be scalable to speeds of OC-192. Individual customers will be offered a wide range of bandwidth choices.

IXC said Gemini 2000 is the first network to carry both data and voice and to incorporate a unique architecture ensuring quality and performance. The network's sites in New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco have been activated and are now carrying traffic. Sites in Atlanta, Austin, Texas; Chicago, Dallas and Newark, Del., will be operational by the third quarter of next year.

Ben Scott, chairman and chief executive officer of IXC, said what sets this network apart is the fact that it is targeting not just a small group of organizations, but is available to a wide range of businesses. He said the network promises to deliver the Internet's full potential, supporting true multimedia applications such as video, voice, audio and graphics.

"It is a network so powerful that it permits voice and video and applications to be combined. This will be the public network of the 21st Century. Partners in all parts of the globe will be able to communicate through (video and audio) simultaneously," Scott said.

Scott said Gemini 2000 gives businesses the power to develop the next generation of real-time, multi-input applications.

"Gemini 2000 is the first coast-to-coast backbone to ensure everyone has the capacity they need to develop new applications. This is the ground floor of a new network that supports any kind of traffic. It paves the way for research in industrial and commercial environments. Now we can stop talking about new applications and start practicing them on a wide scale," he said.

To help spearhead the develop of new applications that will take advantage of the network's capacity, IXC is partnering with Applied Theory Communications, which specializes in Web hosting and Internet solutions for business. Applied Theory will market a new suite of products that will take advantage of the network's capabilities.

The network is also being reviewed by the federal government for inclusion into the Next Generation Internet program, commonly known as Internet II.