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The Second Internet


So, clearly the Telco’s NGN is moving more and more towards IPv6 in the near future, but current
deployments are still mostly IPv4. However, NGN is just as clearly not the Second Internet described in
this book. You might say that NGN (once it reaches 4G) will be just another one of the major applications
hosted on the Second Internet.
There will be much more to the Second Internet than just telephony, including most broadcast
entertainment, exciting new possibilities for non-telephonic communication paradigms (fully
decentralized instant messaging, and peer-to-peer collaboration), smart building sensor and control
systems, and ubiquitous connectivity in essentially all consumer electronics, including MP3 players,
electronic book readers, cameras and personal health monitoring. It will also impact automotive design.
See www.car-to-car.org for some exciting new concepts in “cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems”
that depend heavily on IPv6 concepts such as Networks in Motion (NEMO, RFC 3963) and ad-hoc
networks. In fact, only IPv6 is being used in their designs, although it is a slightly modified version of IPv6
that is missing some common functionality such as Duplicate Address Detection. Their modified IPv6
runs on top of a new, somewhat unusual Link Layer called the C2C Communication Network, which itself
is built on top of IEEE 802.11p, also known as WAVE (Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments).
1.6.2 – Is Internet2 the Second Internet?
Internet2 is an advanced academic and industrial consortium led by the research and education
community, including over 200 higher education institutions and the research departments of a number
of large corporations. They have deployed a world-wide research network called the Internet2 Network.
While IPv6 is definitely being used on the Internet2 network, their scope goes well beyond IPv6, in such
areas as network performance. The first part of the Internet2 network (called Abilene) was built in 1998,
running at 10Gbit/sec (even over WAN links). It was associated with the National Lambda Rail (NLR)
project for some time. Internet2 and NLR have since split and moved forward along two different paths.
Today, most links in the global Internet2 network are running at 100Gbit/sec. This is over 1000 times
faster than typical WAN links used by major corporations today. It is even 10 to 100 times faster than
state of the art LANs.
Internet2 also features advanced research into secure identity and access management tools, on-
demand creation and scheduling of high-bandwidth, high-performance circuits, layer 2 VPNs and
dynamic circuit networks (DCNs).
A recent survey of Internet2 sites showed that only a small percentage of them have even basic IPv6
functionality deployed, such as IPv6 DNS, e-mail or VoIP over IPv6.
Essentially Internet2 is primarily concerned more with extreme high-end performance (100Gbit/sec and
up), and very advanced networking concepts not likely to be used in real-world systems for decades.
Although they do profess support for IPv6, they have not aggressively deployed it, and it is definitely not
central to their efforts. They are doing little or no work on IPv6 itself, or in new commercial applications
based on IPv6. I guess those areas are not very exciting to academicians.
The real world Second Internet I am writing about in this book will be built primarily with equipment that
mostly has the same performance as current First Internet sites (no more than 100Mbit/sec on WAN
links for some time to come, and only that high in advanced countries). In much of the world today
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