Very High Speed Backbone Network Service

What Does Very High Speed Backbone Network Service Mean?

The Very High Speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS) is a network of supercomputer centers that was launched in April 1995. It functions as a high-bandwidth network for scientific research, and therefore requires a lot of computing performance. Scientists at supercomputer centers use the network service for research projects as it is not available for general use by the public.


Although scientific research is a broad term, it is used for functions such as applications, data routing and data switching. Its development history is also tied to the founding of the Internet.

Techopedia Explains Very High Speed Backbone Network Service

There are applications used for scientific research that require a lot of processing power and supercomputers are designed to fill this need. vBNS is a high-bandwidth network designed just for this purpose.

The vBNS network was the result of a five-year collaboration between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and MCI Communications (now a Verizon subsidiary). The network service is a successor to NSFNet, which was a successor to DARPANET, the original Internet network maintained by the Department of Defense.

MCI currently provides the backbone ifnrastructure for vBNS. It is said to operate at a speed of 622 Mbps.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.