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Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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October 23, 2008 9:25 AM

The History of the Internet

A few days ago I discovered this site, an effort by the National Science Foundation entitled "NSF and the Birth of the Internet".

It's a Flash-based site that takes you through the history of the Internet and NSF's role in supporting its growth. Select a decade and choose from a handful of entries, many of which include video that features the thought leaders that made the Internet possible.

The information in this site is interesting, though not necessarily new to anyone already familiar with this history. The interface is simple and works well. And I was impressed that they were able to make the musings of highly technical people enjoyable to watch.

The three things that stood out to me the most came during the 2000s section in a discussion about the future. They include:

- The fact that the capacity of the human eye is about 10Gbps, so until networks are capable of supporting that to each user, we can't claim to have achieved enough speed to stop investing in capacity.

- Next-gen protocols are being built with interplanetary communication in mind, where sending data between planets may take minutes, if not hours and even days. While I don't see a lot of near-term need for this, I still find it interesting as my cousin's actually been working in this space (pun intended).

- At one point a speaker made an offhanded remark about how we haven't established the all-optical Internet yet, but that's exactly the opportunity we have by building a new model for in-network delivery in full fiber communities and getting them peered with each other.

So hopefully through the work being done in places like Lafayette, LA we'll be able to extend this project with a significant new chapter as we prepare ourselves to have 2010 be the decade that dwarfs all others in the evolution of human communication.

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