Internet2 is a testing-ground networking environment where universities, companies, and government laboratories work together and develop advanced Internet technologies such as telemedicine, digital libraries and virtual laboratories.
Using state-of-the-art infrastructure, Internet2 members are connected to the Abilene network backbone, which uses regional network aggregation points called gigaPoPs. The Abilene Network operates at 10 gigabits per second and supports transfer rates 100 to 1000 times faster than typical broadband connections.
In October of 1996, 34 U.S. research universities began working on Internet2, and in September of 1997, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) was created to give an organizational body to the project. Today, with more than 300 member organizations, the Internet2 community currently includes more than 4 million individuals.