I’m so Bored of the Future Internet (FI). There are so many initiatives to look at the Internet’s Future1, anyone would think that there was some tremendous threat like global warming, about to bring about its immediate demise, and that this would bring civilisation crashing down around our ears.
The Internet has a great future behind it, of course. However, my thesis is that the Future Internet is about as relevant as Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), in the way it is being used to support various inappropriate activities. Remember that the start of all this was not the exhaustion of IPv4 address space, or the incredibly slow convergence time of BGP routes, or the problem of scaling router memory for FIBs. It was the US research community reacting to a minor (as in parochial) temporary problem of funding in Communications due to slow down within NSF and differing agendas within DARPA.
It is not necessary to invoke all the hype and hysteria - it is both necessary and sufficient to talk about sustainable energy2, and good technical communications research, development, deployment and operations.
To continue the analogy between FI and AGW, what we really do not need is yet more climatologists with dodgy data curation methodologies (or ethnographers studying Internet governance).
What we do need is some solid engineering, to address a number of problems the Internet has. However, this is in fact happening, and would not stop happening if the entire Future Internet flagship was kidnapped by aliens.
“We don’t need no” government agency doing top down dictats about what to do when. It won’t work and it will be a massive waste of time, energy and other resources - i.e. like AGW, it will be a load of hot air:)
On the other hand, there are a number of deeper lessons from the Internet Architecture which might prove useful in other domains, and in the bulk of this opinion piece, I give examples of these, applying the Postel and End-to-end principles to transport, energy, government information/vices.