Gigabit (Gigapop)

  Gigabit ethernet is becoming the backbone LAN of choice. It can use the same category 5 or 5e twisted pair cabling as 100-Base TX technology (defined in the 802.3z specification for networking). However, it is recommended to use Category 6 cabling. Gigabit allows for both half and full duplex with a data transfer of 1 Gbps (125 MB/s). It can also be implemented using fiber optics. Cable lengths for gigabit are 550 meters using Cat5 and 5 kilometers using fiber.  
  The current event for the rapid implementation of gigabit began in 1996 as several universities converged for the creation of Internet 2. This project includes having every major university in the U.S. upgraded to having at least one gigapop router. As of November 2002, 202 colleges and universities have become members of Internet 2. Look at the links on the previous page for the Internet 2's home page. They have included maps of the networks as of date.  
  On the horizon is 10-gigabit ethernet. There are several companies currently petitioning the standard as a backbone option. It may be some time before this technology is implemented, as there are many laid fiber optic connections not being used.  

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