The Internet's Coming of Age

Front Cover

What most of us know as "the Internet" is actually a set of largely autonomous, loosely coordinated communication networks. As the influence of the Internet continues to grow, understanding its real nature is imperative to acting on a wide range of policy issues.

This timely new book explains basic design choices that underlie the Internet's success, identifies key trends in the evolution of the Internet, evaluates current and prospective technical, operational, and management challenges, and explores the resulting implications for decision makers. The committee-composed of distinguished leaders from both the corporate and academic community-makes recommendations aimed at policy makers, industry, and researchers, going on to discuss a variety of issues:

  • How the Internet's constituent parts are interlinked, and how economic and technical factors make maintaining the Internet's seamless appearance complicated.
  • How the Internet faces scaling challenges as it grows to meet the demands of users in the future.
  • Tensions inherent between open innovation on the Internet and the ability of innovators to capture the commercial value of their breakthroughs.
  • Regulatory issues posed by the Internet's entry into other sectors, such as telephony.

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Overview and Recommendations
1 Introduction and Context
2 Scaling Up the Internet and Making It More Reliable and Robust
Interconnection Openness and Transparency
Telephony As a Case Study
5 Implications for Broad Public Policy
APPENDIX Biographies of Committee Members

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