News Release

NLR Announces Lighting of National Optical Infrastructure Path between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta

WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 12, 2004 - National LambdaRail, Inc.
May 12, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 12, 2004 - National LambdaRail, Inc. (NLR), a consortium of leading U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies, today announced that it has successfully lit the optical-network path between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Ga., giving the D.C., Raleigh, N.C., and Atlanta regions access to the national NLR network infrastructure. The path completes the route between Atlanta, D.C., Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Chicago.

The deployment began in January with Cisco Systems, Inc. installing dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) extended long-haul platforms approximately every 100 kilometers on intercity dark fiber NLR purchased from Level 3 Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:LVLT). Meeting the target completion date on April 16, Cisco deployed eight 10 Gbps Ethernet lambdas for NLR along the 766 fiber miles (1532 strand miles) between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. Overall, the system supports expansions up to 40 10 Gbps lambdas.

"This is an important milestone for our region and represents the next phase in a tradition of collaborating in support of advanced networking capabilities. Since the establishment of the Research Triangle Park 45 years ago, the area has been an important site for innovation and collaboration between higher education and industry," said Tracy Futhey, vice president of Information and CIO of Duke University, representing a coalition of North Carolina Universities participating in NLR. "Over the past several years, the North Carolina GigaPOP has been an active node in Internet2's development, including an early test site for new technologies in partnership with vendors within the networking industry. Participation in NLR reinforces a regional commitment to advanced networking and moves us into the optical networking realm."

"On behalf of the Mid Atlantic Terascale Partnership, we are excited to be a part of the National LambdaRail as it becomes a working reality. With a major portion of the network now lit including links from Atlanta to Chicago through Raleigh, D.C. and Pittsburgh, research institutions in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. and our colleagues throughout the southeastern United States gain tremendous opportunities to drive the advancement of Terascale computing and networking," said Erv Blythe, vice president for Information Systems and CTO, Virginia Tech. "We believe these efforts are critical to the competitiveness of our region and the nation in all areas of scientific and medical research. We are especially pleased to see the network become operational in our area ahead of schedule and applaud the effectiveness of NLR in bringing this about."

"Completion of this segment is the first and critical step to bring the power of NLR to scientists and researchers at Georgia Tech and in the rest of the Southeast," said Ron Hutchins, Associate Vice Provost for Research & Technology and Chief Technology Officer at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "It connects us to the resources of the nation's research universities and national laboratories in a way that was not possible before. This path is one way to bring national network resources such as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory into the National Science Foundation's Extensible Terascale Facility."

Phase one installation is complete with the path between Chicago to Atlanta fully operational. The remaining paths are in final testing, with operational roll-outs scheduled on the paths from Seattle to Sunnyvale, Calif. by mid-May; Denver to Chicago by the end of June; Atlanta to Jacksonville, Fla. by mid-July; and Seattle to Denver by late August. All of phase one will be fully operational by the start of the next academic school year.

Cisco Systems' participation in this unique effort is both as the key provider of networking equipment and as a major proponent of the NLR objectives to advance research in networking and all fields of science. Cisco technologies including optical DWDM platforms, Ethernet switches and IP routers are being deployed; as well as installation, testing, and product maintenance services.

Level 3 is the preferred provider of the dark fiber and collocation facilities on the NLR core backbone infrastructure.

# # #

About National LambdaRail

National LambdaRail, Inc. (NLR) is a major initiative of U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies to provide a national scale infrastructure for research and experimentation in networking technologies and applications. NLR puts the control, the power and the promise of experimental network infrastructure in the hands of our nation's scientists and researchers. Visit for more information.