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The Second Internet


1.5Mbit/sec to 10Mbit/sec is considered good. Maybe 100Gbit/sec will be widely deployed by 2030 to
2040, but ultra high performance is not necessary to provide the revolutionary benefits described in this
book. To give you an idea, Standard Definition (SD) TV requires about 2Mbit/sec bandwidth per channel,
and High Definition (HD) TV requires about 7 to 10 MBit/sec bandwidth per simultaneously viewed
channel. That is about the most bandwidth intensive application you will likely see for most users for
some time to come. Voice only requires about 8 to 64 Kbit/sec for good quality. In Japan and Korea
today, home Internet accounts typically have about 50 to 100 Mbit/sec performance. In my hotel room
in Tokyo recently, I measured 42 Mbit/sec throughput. That is enough for almost any use today. Most
users would be really challenged to make effective use of 100 Gbit/sec bandwidth, even in companies.
With that bandwidth you could download the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in just a few seconds
(including images), or an entire Blu-Ray movie (about 25 GBytes on average) in about 2 seconds.
The necessary equipment and applications for the Second Internet can in many cases be created with
software or firmware upgrades (except for older and low-end devices that don’t have enough RAM or
ROM to handle the more complex software, and in high end telco and ISP products that include
hardware acceleration). If you look at the products created by my company (www.infoweapons.com),
you will see what I think are some of the most important components that are needed to build the
Second Internet: a dual stack DNS/DHCP appliance, a dual stack firewall with 6in4 tunneling, and a dual
stack VoIP server (IP PBX). We will soon be releasing a dual stack network monitoring appliance as well.
The main technical advantages of the Second Internet will not be higher bandwidth, but the vastly larger
address space, the restoration of the flat address space (elimination of NAT), and the general availability
of working multicast. All of these are made possible by migration to IPv6, which involves insignificant
costs compared to supporting 100Gbit/sec WAN links. Perhaps generally available WAN bandwidth in
that range will be what characterizes the Third Internet.
You can find out more about Internet2 on their homepage, http://www.internet2.edu.
So, Internet2 (despite the name) is not the Second Internet I am writing about. Internet2 is primarily an
academic exercise that will not bear fruit for many decades. What they are doing is very important in
the long run, but it does not address, and will not solve, the really major problems facing the First
Internet today. The Second Internet is being rolled out today, and will be largely functional before the
last IPv4 address is given out by the RIRs, probably sometime in 2011. That event will mark the end of
the First (IP4-only) Internet.
1.6.3 – Is Web 2.0 the Second Internet?
First, if you think that the terms “World Wide Web” and “Internet” are synonymous, let me expand your
worldview bit, in the same way that Copernicus did for people’s view of our Solar System back in the
mid 1500s. The “World Wide Web” is basically one service that runs on a much larger, more complex
thing which is called the Internet. The web is a simple client-server system based on HTTP (HyperText
Transfer Protocol) and HTML (HyperText Markup Language). Due to extremely serious limitations and
inefficiencies of these standards, both have been enhanced and extended numerous times. The result is
still not particularly elegant to real network software designers or engineers, but it has clearly had a
major impact on the world. The technology of the web was a refinement and convergence of several
ideas and technologies that were in use before HTML and HTTP were created by Tim Berners-Lee in the
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