LambdaRail, a consortium of universities, research institutions and private industry, has been quietly buying long stretches of fiber from carriers across the country at bargain basement prices. The organization is building the first nationwide fiber backbone owned by the research community.
Cisco Systems has donated all the optical gear used in the LambdaRail network. And Internet2 is using fiber from the LambdaRail network to build a hybrid Internet Protocol-optical network.
Considering that carriers still haven't made brought new services to market that run over Internet2, such as high-definition video conferencing and IPv6, it could take years before new IP-optical technologies make it onto the commercial Internet.