Information about our panel on Internet Evolution at IETF 81 is now available here

The Internet is evolving. The majority of end users perceive this evolution in the form of changes and updates to the software and networked applications that they are familiar with, or with the arrival of entirely new applications that change the way they communicate, do business, entertain themselves, and so on. Evolution is a constant feature throughout the network ‘stack’ (see figure 1):

graphic depicting network stack

  • Fundamental discoveries in optical networking that allow ever more bandwidth to be obtained from deployed fibre-optic cables
  • New standards for wired and wireless link technologies (such as 100 gigabit Ethernet and LTE)
  • New congestion control algorithms, improved security infrastructures: these are all examples of the kind of evolution that most users don’t see.

As the Internet becomes an ever more pervasive and critical infrastructure underpinning society and commerce around the globe, so understanding the ways in which the Internet is changing grows in importance for technologists and policymakers alike. Reflecting on what those changes mean for the likely future trajectory of the Internet is critical.