Gigapop is short for gigabit point-of-presence, an access point to Internet2, the network collaboration between universities and partners in industry and government to develop advanced Internet technologies and applications such as telemedicine and digital libraries. Currently, over 170 U.S. universities take part using approximately 30 gigapops for access. Gigapops are distributed geographically across the United States and generally support data transfer rates of at least one gigabit per second (Gbps). One gigapop is intended to serve up to 12 participating institutions.
A Type I gigapop provides access to the network shared with other gigapops. A Type II gigapop provides access to additional networks needed for research purposes. The Type 2 gigapop requires routing policies and authorization mechanisms.
Today's Internet began as an academic and defense research network. Although Internet2 has a similar beginning, it is expected to lead to enhancements to the existing Internet, not to a new or alternative Internet.