iCAIR Press Releases

Press Release Q & A

Q:   Who is involved in this partnership being announced today?

A:   The initial partners are C-SPAN, the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University, Internet2, IBM, and the Metropolitan Research and Education Network. However, we expect that others to become partners of this initiative as it develops.

Q:   What is the Internet technology that is being announced today?

A:   Currently, the Internet does not support multimedia very well; for example, full motion, full color, full screen video, with at least CD quality audio. Today we are announcing a pilot project that will develop new prototype technologies for providing multimedia over a new type of advanced Internet. This project includes many different types of advanced technologies: those that enable viewers to locate and access media easily, those that manage media assets, those that allow for high-quality streaming, and many others. Together, these technologies will provide high quality digital video over the Internet.

Q:   Why is this technology needed?

A:   Today, the Internet is a medium primarily of text and graphics. However, people are highly oriented toward visual forms of communication, especially motion video. Video technology supports a wide range of activities within research and education as well as the business world.

Q:   How long has this initiative been in the works?

A:   The Internet2 Digital Video (I2-DV) initiative was one of the first projects established to show the advantages of high performance networks. Advanced media has been one of the key research areas at the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University since it was established. This particular project was in development over the last five months. The initial stages of the project focused on experiments at iCAIR with C-SPAN content.

Q:   Why is C-SPAN the content provider?

A:   C-SPAN is a provider of high-quality information for common good that is of interest to the research and education community.

Q:   What are the advantages of a public/private partnership as it relates to this initiative?

A:   Public/private partnerships allow for efficient combinations of different types of resources that can be focused on mutually beneficial objectives. These types of partnerships accelerate the creation and deployment of new technologies.

Q:   How will this capability benefit researchers?

A:   Eventually, they will be able to access and use such materials as part of an on-line digital library for scholarly purposes. However, at this stage, the focus is on technology development not production services.

Q:   Who will be able to access C-SPAN through this project?

A:   Initially a few selected sites within the I2 community. The site will expand over time as the project is scaled.

Q:   How much C-SPAN material will be stored?

A:   The storage potential is unlimited technically. It is limited by the storage capacity that we have implemented. We have considerable capacity and we are able to store many weeks (and months) of materials. However, a final determination has not yet been made on the total.

Q:   Will someone on the commodity Internet be able to view this content?

A:   That is not the intent of this experimental, research project.

Q:   When can we expect this capability to be in commercial production for the general Internet?

A:   High performance Internet technology is developing rapidly and is being deployed in many places. However, this varies greatly by specific location. Specialized technology for high quality media is being deployed more slowly. Deployment of specific content relies on content processes, such as licenses, not technology considerations.

Q:   Will we be able to use this new system in time for the presidential election?

A:   Some content on this topic will be available to the Internet2 community.

Q:   Where can additional information be found?

A:   At www.icair.org or email j-mambretti@nwu.

Return to iCAIR Press Releases