More recently, corporate investment in academic work has been quite modest and confined largely to a few successful consortium research programs that have attracted industry support and have also, in some cases, been funded by state initiatives. Several state programs, notably in California and Georgia,26 support academic telecommunications research and interactions with industry.
Another challenge in teaching telecommunications or carrying out a relevant research program in universities is that the facilities and resources at academic institutions are not adequate to address the architectural and operational issues of large-scale telecommunications networks. Since there has never been any pressure or financial incentive to create the resources
The previous sections highlight several of the more prominent federal funding programs related to telecommunications. But there have been many other important areas of investment over the years. Within DOD itself, the service laboratories (Office of Naval Research, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Army Research Office) as well as other military R&D centers (such as MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Rome Air Development Center, Army Satellite R&D at Ft. Monmouth, and so on) have made significant investments in a wide array of telecommunications technologies. Another mission-driven investment was made by NASA in support of satellite and space missions. Finally, programs at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Boulder laboratory have helped advance the field of wireless propagation.
Long a source of support for research on large-scale problems, DARPA has led in computer networking (via the ARPANET and its derivatives) and in the creation of the Internet (via its support of TCP/IP protocols and related computer networking services such as e-mail, ftp, gopher, and others) and remains committed today to advances in telecommunications-focused research. In the early 1990s, DARPA was involved in the research on and adoption of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) technology, as well as research into packet technologies for voice and video. Along with nearly 40 other organizations, DARPA also completed work on the Gigabit Testbed Initiative, an effort by a host of universities, telecommunication carriers, industry, national laboratories, and computer companies to create a number of very-high-speed network testbeds and explore their use for scientific research and other applications.22 In the late 1990s, DARPA also funded the All Optical Networking Consortium, which was formed by the cooperation of Bell Laboratories, Digital Equipment Corporation, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to examine the unique properties of fiber optics for advanced broadband networking. DARPA has also been a long-standing, significant funder of wireless research.