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.
"This book is a useful and more or less current overview [on hot topics], something that's difficult to get in print."
--NewScientist.com, July 2001
"If lawmakers actually read this report and take it to heart, it could improve the Internet legal landscape tremendously."
"For those peering over the edge, squinting hard to glimpse the fuzzy future, the report is required reading -- not just for its laser focus on key issues and concepts but also for its close attention to overlooked topics. ...For those who need to keep their eye on the target, this is best-seller material."
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