In an attempt to encourage cooperation on bandwidth and other problems facing the Internet, the Global Internet Project today called on Internet companies and organizations to convene a summit this year.
Founded in 1995, the organization consists of 13 member organizations, mostly Internet software and telecommunications firms from the United States, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The consortium publishes papers outlining threats to the Internet and possible solutions.
"We're hoping to...make people more aware of what the specific issues are and who's working on them," said John Patrick, GIP chairman and vice president of Internet technology at IBM. "We want to encourage more collaboration and action, specifically to encourage self-regulation."
The summit will address six areas:
A GIP report released today recommended that software programs on every level have open interfaces between them; that backbone providers be able to interconnect with each other; and that server technology be beefed up to meet increasing demand, both in terms of numbers of users and bandwidth requirements for more advanced Internet applications.
In addition to the planned summit, the GIP will come up with specific reports on each area and then work with key industry players in implementing solutions, according to Patrick.
He cited the group's work with the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), which is building a second Internet for university use, as an example of such cooperation. The GIP has been assisting in the internationalization of Internet 2, according to Patrick.
The GIP's 13 member organizations are AT&T, British Telecom, GTE Internetworking, Deutsche Telekom, Electronic Data Systems, Fujitsu, IBM, Netscape Communications, MCI, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, NEC, and Visa International.
One company missing from the group is Internet heavyweight Microsoft. Microsoft, along with a number of other companies in a consortium that has had more than two dozen member organizations in the past, was cut from the ranks because of inactivity, Patrick said.
"Some groups were there just to say they were there," he said. "Now our intention is to have a relatively small group of representatives who are willing to spend their time on this."
The small group was representative of hardware, software, and services companies from Asia, Europe, and the United States. "We've tried to bring together a group that is representative of what the Web is all about," Patrick said.