IEEE-USA President urges action on adoption of 'new internet'
Just as "visionaries" of the Age of Enlightenment in 18th century Europe pursued progress through rationality, the developers of the 21st Century's "New Internet" will "benefit the public good by balancing the needs of users and society," said Dr. Ralph W. Wyndrum, Jr., IEEE-USA's 2006 President.
Delivering a keynote address on 19 May to some 125 attendees at the Federal IPv6 Summit in Reston, Va., Wyndrum praised the development of the new Internet Protocol (IP) that will exponentially increase the number of assignable IP addresses on the Web. He cited advantages of the new protocol, known as IPv6, including these: simplified mobility, reduced network administration costs, and improved overall network efficiency.
The IEEE-USA president projected that IPv6 could lead to new jobs and serve as a stepping stone for the next "killer Web application." He cited as examples "Internet on demand" and "the development of new consumer devices," including appliances that can be controlled on the Web. According to Wyndrum, IPv6 "allows every device to have its own unique identity"; and the new protocol will allow for immediate notification each time personal bank accounts are charged, helping to transform e-commerce and online banking.
The IEEE-USA president noted that IPv6 is now a global product and other nations "are hard at work transforming the new Internet." He stressed that the United States must lead in setting standards for the new protocol. Wyndrum stated that the IEEE's "Standard for Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments" takes advantage of the enlarged spaced offered by IPv6, and that the new technology is important "to many of the IEEE's standards projects -- one we're open to exploring further."
With a recent Frost & Sullivan study projection that the Internet will exhaust the old protocol's -- IPv4 -- addresses by 2012, the IEEE-USA president called for a concerted and orderly transition to the new protocol. He pointed to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget mandate that all federal networks must be able to send and receive IPv6 packets by mid-2008, and that Lucent estimates it will need three more years -- until 2009 -- to convert its customer mobility applications to support IPv6.
Wyndrum concluded with another historical reference to the development of the telephone by one of the first IEEE members, Alexander Graham Bell. He contrasted Bell's almost accidental discovery while working on a hearing device for the deaf with the development of the new Internet. The IEEE-USA president said the new technology will "not be the product of a single person, organization or politician -- nor luck or serendipity," but will require a sustained, collaborative effort.