“New IP” and Global Internet Governance

Do we need a new generation of data communication protocols?

The Internet protocols were standardized in the early 1980s, roughly the same time as the first PCs and the first generation of analogue mobile phones. Although there have been many changes and improvements in IETF standards since then, the original IPv4 is still the world’s predominant data communication standard. TCP/IP was an extraordinary success at creating a scalable and globally interoperable data communications; so much so, that even its designated successor, IPv6, has struggled to replace it.

Is it time for a more sweeping change in the standards defining data communication? Is such a change even possible, given the inertia surrounding the world’s convergence on IP? What are we gaining or losing by continuing to rely on the classic Internet protocols?

Some people think it is time to think about change. For nearly two years, technologists at Huawei have been urging the IETF and the ITU to embark on a research program that would explore a complete redesign of the Internetworking protocols of the 1980s. They contend that the current architecture and protocols may not be keeping up with the dramatic changes in information and communication technology. Others are pushing back against that initiative.

This virtual event brought together technologists Richard Li of Futurewei Technologies, Inc. USA and Andrew Sullivan, President and CEO of the Internet Society, for a direct engagement on New IP. The discussion was thoroughly aired the reasoning behind both Li’s critique of old IP and the Internet Society’s responses to those critiques. It also explored the way new standards or a standards battle might affect global Internet governance.


  • Dr. Richard Li, Futurewei Technologies, Inc. USA
  • Andrew Sullivan, President and CEO, Internet Society

Moderator: Dr. Milton Mueller, Georgia Institute of Technology, Internet Governance Project

Watch live:

Date and Time

15:00 – 16:30 UTC

Wednesday 23 September 2020



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