NICE (National Host Interconnection Experiments) project was a part of the ACTS (Advanced Communications Technologies and Services) Programme within the European Union’s 4th Framework Programme for R&D. NICE started in January 1996 and it ended in January 1998.
More than 30 partners were involved from Canada, European Union, Central and Eastern Europe, and newly independent states from former Soviet Union.
The primary goal of the project was the integration of systems in such a way so as to enable the provison of advanced broadband services based on ATM (Asyncronous Transfer Mode) technology. Integration of systems resulted in validated configurations intended for use by National Hosts and their customers, which were mainly other ACTS and Telematics projects. Validated configuration is a set of technologies (transport technologies, networking technologies, terminal equipment, and applications) together with guidelines for planning, set-up, testing, and controling a dedicated platform, which provides for large scale videoconferencing and real-time CSCW (Computer Supported Colaborative Work) applications. NICE itself organized several distributed events in order to experiment with, validate and demonstrate its configurations. All of these large scale events connected more than fifteen participating sites (with entire audiences) all over the world into a virtual videoconference with the complete range of interactivity available in conventional conference: from high quality video & audio questions and answers, presentations with slides and documents, to distributed panel sessions, distributed whiteboard, and application demonstrations.
The most outstanding of these events was Global360 from 16.-18. June 1997. It connected 25 sites altogether, ranging from Ottawa in Canada to Novosibirsk in Russia. The programme of the Global360 channel comprised of selected content from four networking conferences (Lisbon, Calgary, Moscow, and Brussels) and in addition several sites prepared their own presentations and demonstartions. The Global360 channel was moderated by a TV professional.