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Bill St. Arnaud is a consultant and research engineer who works with clients around the world on a variety of subjects such as next generation Internet networks and developing practical solutions to reduce CO2 emissions such as free broadband and dynamic charging of eVehicles. He is an author of many papers and articles on these topics and is a frequent guest speaker. For more details on my research interests see

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Why the Internet only just works

An excellent paper on the challenges of trying to change the architecture of the Internet. While I agree that the traditional layer 3 Internet is ossifying - the exciting and new Internet architectures are occurring above layer 3 (web services and Web 2.0) and below (optical federated IP networks and wireless mesh). Ultimately HTTP/port 80 may be the new neck of the hourglass between applications and physical infrastructure. I think this reflects a continued trend where Internet innovation will always find a away to route around obstruction or blockage -- BSA]

Why the Internet only just works
M Handley

The core Internet protocols have not changed significantly in more than a decade, in spite of exponential growth in the number of Internet users and the speed of the fastest links. The requirements placed on the net are also changing, as digital convergence finally occurs. Will the Internet cope gracefully with all this change, or are the cracks already beginning to show? In this paper I examine how the Internet has coped with past challenges resulting in attempts to change the architecture and core protocols of the Internet. Unfortunately, the recent history of failed architectural changes does not bode well. With this history in mind, I explore some of the challenges currently facing the Internet.