National Science Foundation Network (NSFNet)

Last Updated: February 1, 2017

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Definition - What does National Science Foundation Network (NSFNet) mean?

The National Science Foundation Network (NSFNet) is a wide area network that was developed by the National Science Foundation to replace ARPANET as the main network linking government and research facilities.

NSFNet was a major force in the development of computing infrastructure and enhanced network services. By making high-speed networking available to national computer centers and inter-linked regional networks, NSFNet created a network of networks, which laid the foundation for today's Internet.

NSFNet was dismantled in 1995 and replaced with a commercial Internet backbone.

Techopedia explains National Science Foundation Network (NSFNet)

NSFNet was initiated by the National Science Foundation in 1985 as a 56 Kbps backbone. Between 1987 and 1995, it was upgraded to reach T1 and T3 speeds, reaching thousands of institutions. NSFNet was a major contributor to the networking infrastructure that made the Internet possible.

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