Five states have received the green light to start connecting their K-12 schools to Abliene, an ultrahigh-speed Internet2 backbone that until now has been restricted to higher education, government, and private-sector users.

One hundred times faster than a T1 connection to the current internet (referred to as the "commodity internet" by aficionados), Abilene is an advanced backbone network that connects regional aggregation points—known as gigaPoPs—to support the development and deployment of advanced internet...

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