PSC News Center

Comcast Peers with the Pittsburgh GigaPoP

PITTSBURGH, August 25, 2004 — The Pittsburgh GigaPoP, managed by PSC’s networking group, has installed a high-speed network link to Comcast. This peering arrangement allows Comcast and the GigaPoP to exchange traffic directly rather than going through national Internet backbones, enhancing access to regional resources for Comcast high-speed Internet subscribers.

“This not only improves communication between regional individuals and institutions,” said Wendy Huntoon, PSC assistant director for networking, “it also lowers costs. By keeping local network traffic local, Comcast and GigaPoP customers reduce latency in local network connections and save money from reduced Internet bandwidth use.”

Previous to the peering arrangement, a teleconferencing connection from a Comcast subscriber to the University of Pittsburgh may have gone through New York or Chicago — hopping through many routers in between. Now the connection goes from Comcast through the Pittsburgh GigaPoP directly to the University of Pittsburgh. This shorter trip drastically improves performance of demanding applications such as teleconferencing. Because the data isn’t traveling over national Internet backbones, bandwidth and costs for those backbones are reduced.

The GigaPoP also peers with PITX — a peering exchange that includes local Internet Service Providers such as Pair Networks, Telerama and Nauticom. Comcast users, therefore, should also see improved performance when connecting to these ISPs.

Through the Pittsburgh GigaPoP, a high-speed network crossroads that serves Carnegie Mellon, Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University and the Pittsburgh Public Schools, PSC provides advanced network resources for education and research. The GigaPoP connects the universities and PPS to Abilene, a high-performance network linking more than 250 U.S. universities and research organizations.

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with the Westinghouse Electric Company. It was established in 1986 and is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.


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