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Problem Definition

The Internet was developed in the 1970s and 1980s, initially as a means to connect mainframe computer systems for timesharing purposes. The system introduced for this fairly basic purpose has expanded to become a global multimedia information and communications system, connecting personal computers, phones, and hundreds of millions rather than the hundreds of devices originally foreseen.

Some of the significant developments not foreseen at the time of the original design include:

Parts of the system are now over 20 years old, and the Internet is required to perform a number of important functions not included in the original design. New protocols have been developed, and various patches have been applied to base protocols, not always evenly. It seems appropriate to examine whether the current system, people, and processes are still appropriate.

Although it is clear that the system which has evolved is extraordinarily useful and needs to be continued, it is not clear whether the current Internet effectively meets its users needs, on either a technical or a managerial level.

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