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SPRINT CHOSEN TO PROVIDE UPGRADE FOR NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK

SPRINT CHOSEN TO PROVIDE UPGRADE FOR NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A national data communications network, designed at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is being upgraded to provide next-generation capabilities.
 DOE announced the selection of Sprint (NYSE: FON) to provide Asynchronous Transfer Mode, or ATM, broadband service for moving digital information on the Energy Sciences Network using Sprint's nationwide fiber-optic network.
 ATM is an emerging technology based on the high-speed transmission of fixed-length "cells." This service is being provided to the Energy Sciences Network on an "early availability" basis, but is generally not expected to be widely commercially available before 1994.
 The Energy Sciences Network is a high-speed, nationwide computer- data communications network funded by DOE's Office of Energy Research to support multiple-program, open scientific research.
 It links more than two dozen U.S. scientific laboratories including Lawrence Livermore, Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Superconducting Supercollider Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to each other and to research facilities worldwide.
 The new technologies will enable data communications networking to evolve from the current T1-based bandwidth of 1.5 million bits per second capacity to substantially faster speeds, with speeds to 45, 155 and 622 million bits per second in the next few years, a total speed-up of more than 400 times the current bandwidth.
 By comparison, approximately 20 pages of a standard-sized dictionary can be transmitted in one second at T1 rates. At the highest rate planned, an amount of information equal to about 8,000 pages will be transmitted in a single second.
 "This network upgrade will not only allow researchers to work more effectively, but is intended to make possible entirely new capabilities," according to Lawrence Livermore's Jim Leighton, who manages the network.
 The Energy Sciences Network is engineered and operated by the networking staff of the National Energy Research Supercomputer Center at the Livermore lab. NASA's Science Internet, a similar network, will also be upgraded under the contract.
 Both the Energy Sciences Network and NASA's Science Internet are parts of the emerging National Research and Education Network, and this upgrade will provide "cornerstone" technologies for the growth of the National Research and Education Network.
 The Energy Sciences Network multi-agency effort, including DOE and NASA, will bring together four vendors to provide a working capability using advanced technology. Sprint will provide communications facilities, and TRW will provide the ATM switches. Sprint will also be supported by Cisco, a network router manufacturer, and Digital Equipment Corporation.
 "Sprint takes pride in working with DOE and NASA to provide advanced technology that can support the essential research projects of the scientific and educational community," said Chris Rooney, president of Sprint's Government Systems Division.
 "The broadband services we will provide to DOE and NASA will ultimately lead to advanced commercial applications that can stimulate U.S. industry and spur U.S. competitiveness in the world marketplace."
 The effort is funded under the Federal High Performance Computing and Communications program, a presidential initiative in fiscal year 1992.
 "Through this cooperative effort, DOE and NASA will enter into a significant partnership with U.S. industry that will enhance the U.S. competitiveness position in this critical technology area, accelerate the pace of technological innovation and reduce the risk of introducing this technology into the marketplace," said DOE's David Nelson, chair of an interagency committee on high performance computing, communications and information technology.
 "It will also assist in the diffusion and use of these essential capabilities by the U.S. research and education communities in their efforts to further our knowledge and understanding in scientific and engineering endeavors," Nelson said.
 The HPCC program is a multi-agency effort with four major components, including High Performance Computing Systems, Advanced Software Technology and Algorithms, the National Research and Education Network, and Basic Research and Human Resources.
 The contract, worth an estimated $50 million over five years, will allow Sprint to provide wide-area ATM service.
 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy, conducts research important to the national goals, including national defense. Current research programs include weapons, energy, biomedicine and the environment. The laboratory also has a long-standing commitment to protect the environment and enhance the nation's economic competitiveness.
 Sprint is a diversified international telecommunications company with $8.9 billion in annual revenues and the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network. Its divisions provide global long distance voice, data and video products and services, and local telephone services to more than 4 million subscriber lines in 17 states.
 -0- 8/17/92
 /CONTACT: Janis Langley of Sprint, 202-828-7427 or, after hours, 703-533-3322; or Steve Wampler of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 510-423-3107 or, after hours, 209-835-4121/
 (FON) CO: Sprint; Department of Energy ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU: CON


TW -- DC014 -- 0577 08/17/92 14:16 EDT
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Date:Aug 17, 1992
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