In a controversial, nay unconscionable, recent proposition made by researchers at a university in America, the Internet could face complete destruction in favour of a brand new 'version'. The proposal even boasts support from one of the Internet's founding fathers, Vinton Cerf.
The conclusion of a group of researchers is that the Internet is broken -- it's in a state of desperate disrepair and needs overhauling to cope with today's demands upon it. Dipankar Raychaudhuri, a Rutgers University professor, claims, "[the Internet] works well in many situations but was designed for completely different assumptions".
The Internet was conceived in the 1960s and after 40 years of continuous refinement and technological advancement, it has flourished into one of the greatest products of collective human effort. The underlying protocols of the Net were donated to the world, free of the puppet strings that would under these proposals be controlled by bureaucratic business-obsessives thinking only of furthering the hold they have on their particular market. Just think about the current debate on Net neutrality in the US, then multiply the severity by one thousand.
Okay, the Internet may not be flawless, it may be slightly broken, but society is fundamentally broken, though it has continued to flourish even in the presence of war, catastrophe, and greed over the centuries. Now, the Net has become greater than the sum of its parts, itself becoming the parent of some of the most remarkable products ever conceivable, such as Wikipedia -- the collective sum of all human knowledge freely available to everyone, everywhere, any time. Except kind of broken -- but that just proves my point.
How can this continue to survive? The original Internet was designed to continue to function in the event of an apocalypse, so it sure as hell should be able to survive with its current injuries. A cat can still kill when it's missing a limb, it just adapts. Redesigning everything that has been achieved thus far would only spark patent feuds, corporate warfare over who holds which puppet string and the expenditure of billions of dollars.
The wheel was donated to humanity and revolutionised civilisation. The Internet is the 21st century wheel. It may need its tyres changing now and again, but redesign the wheel and you'd better have fully comprehensive insurance on the vehicle it's keeping in motion.