GENI and the Future of Web 2.0

The Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) is a special internet environment developed by the National Science Foundation in 2007. The host network for the environment, called Internet2, has over 50 sites in 30+ countries, and it is used to test ideas in an environment free from the typical constraints of the publicly accessible internet.

Cutting edge technology often goes through GENI testing before hitting the market. Recently, GENI and US Ignite (a next-gen development nonprofit) partnered to release information about a low-latency fiber network in the public safety space.

Today, public safety workers have access to and work with a fraction of the capability that a low-latency fiber network could provide. A notable demonstration featured what would happen when a connected vehicle has an accident. The network provides instantaneous information to police stations regarding the accident location and vehicle information. A drone picked up additional information and relayed it to the same viewing platform. In real life, this technology could help first responders and police react faster and with better preparation than ever before.

In the future, low-latency fiber networks could improve performance across every sector of society, and that’s just one of the many testing functions GENI offers innovative enterprise and government organizations. The environment is ideal for exploring solutions to current online dilemmas and taking the steps towards the future of internet applications.

Anyone can use GENI to develop full-scale tests of networking, security, and applications. It’s available for free to researchers and for classroom use. Other applications for the site have included an US Ignite demonstration where students in Chattanooga, Tennessee were able to see and control a remote microscope in California from across the country. The low-latency fiber network technology improved the lag time from 100 milliseconds to 35 milliseconds. As a result, the network drastically improved the user experience.

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