In 20 Years, The Internet Will Get REALLY Interesting

I love reading smart peoples’ visions for the future. Especially when it involves technology, science, and our dear friend, the Internet. Check out some of the hopes, dreams, and goals shared by leading Internet engineers over at Networkworld, link here. Carolyn Duffy Marson reports on how these brainiacs are rethinking the entire architecture, with the hope of making internet access safer, reliable, and more widespread – reaching not only to the remote regions of this planet, but to other planets as well. Take THAT, ATT!

These scientists aren’t talking about terabytes, they are speaking in measures of exabytes of information. The research necessary to get us to the Brave New World of 2020 will be funded in part by the U.S.  Government (now there is a decent use of our tax dollars). From the article:

Indeed, the United States is building the world’s largest virtual network lab across 14 college campuses and two nationwide backbone networks so that it can engage thousands – perhaps millions – of end users in its experiments.

The motivation behind this massive research is the reality that the Internet is now so enmeshed into our business, financial, and personal lives that a failure from cyberattacks, insufficient networks, and huge data loads would be catastrophic. The Internet that carries out financial networks, our power grid, our government-to-citizen communications must not fail. The lack of security threatens this system and our brightest Internet minds are focused on protecting against the very real risks.

The article is a fascinating read and gets into the nuts and bolts of the research. For my purposes, the article is most interesting on two counts: first, the realization that our Internet experience will be vastly different in the short span of a decade and, second, that the powers-that-be realize just how hugely important this network is, how fundamental it will become, and how singularly important internet security and viability is to our international well-being.

Never mind our dreams for 2010: on to 2020 and the tech marvels that await!

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