The Changing Patterns of Internet Usage
24 Pages Posted: 1 May 2011
The Internet unquestionably represents one of the most important technological developments in recent history. It has revolutionized the way people communicate with one another and obtain information and created an unimaginable variety of commercial and leisure activities. Interestingly, many members of the engineering community often observe that the current network is ill-suited to handle the demands that end users are placing on it. Indeed, engineering researchers often describe the network as ossified and impervious to significant architectural change. As a result, both the U.S. and the European Commission are sponsoring "clean slate" projects to study how the Internet might be designed differently if it were designed from scratch today. This Essay explores emerging trends that are transforming the way end users are using the Internet and examine their implications both for network architecture and public policy. These trends include Internet protocol video, wireless broadband, cloud computing programmable networking, and pervasive computing and sensor networks. It discusses how these changes in the way people are using the network may require the network to evolve in new directions.
Keywords: Internet protocol video, wireless broadband, cloud computing, programmable networks, pervasive computing, sensor networks, IPTV, quality of service, congestion management, multicasting, bandwidth, reliability, privacy, security
JEL Classification: K23, L86, L96
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation