The physical connection between Israeli inter-university
computation center Machba and the U.S.-based network center for Internet2
was completed this week, with official inauguration just around the bend.
The satellite connection is executed via Gilat to the backbone of Internet2
in Chicago and at a rate of 45 megabits per second. This type of satellite
connection to Internet2 is
the first in its field, and many are waiting to see if the optical fiber
connection matches the network performance standards of on-land or
Israel is connecting to Internet2 as part of a four-year program, at
an expense of $40 million. In the future, this connection will
be expanded to 622 megabits per second.
Machba serves a total of approximately 200,000 students and an additional
35,000 personnel throughout the country, of whom 100,000 students and
20,000 personnel are located in the main eight Israeli universities. Other
universities and colleges are connected to one of the main universities,
usually via frame-relay.
During the last six months, Machba’s connection bandwidth has increased
20-fold between the connection to Internet2 and the upgrading of internal
lines to ATM. According to Avi Weiss, analyst, Machba’s network performance
will be the best amongst Israeli Internet providers.
The Israeli model, which was approved by Internet2’s management, differs
slightly from the American model, which designates the network for academic
use only. In Israel it has been decided that research and development
bodies will be able to join Machba.