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By | Lewis Page 28th June 2007 12:05

Body that spawned the internet wants to rebuild it

Broke or not, DARPA's fixin' to fix it

DARPA*, the US military's occasionally eccentric death-tech hothouse, is often lauded as having created the internet. Under its old name ARPA, the agency oversaw development of the so-called Arpanet, forerunner of today's IP net. Now, however, DARPA reckons the internet needs to be reinvented.

This week the Pentagon's radical-boffinry specialists issued a request for "revolutionary ideas".

They say that they want "methods to re-think and potentially redesign some of the basic concepts that have shaped today's internet technology. The goal ... is to improve transfer speeds, network-routing efficiency, reliability, simplify network configuration, and reduce cost ... DARPA is interested in ideas that will lead to the development of new addressing schemes (eg, a structured hierarchical addressing system) to supplement the current IP scheme."

DARPA says that when the present protocols were set up, memory and processing power were big limiting factors. At least in Pentagon networks, they say that's no longer the case and it's time for a rethink.

If any of that sounds like your bag, there are full instructions on how to submit position papers at the link above. DARPA aren't fixing to cough up any cash as yet, but they say they might well if any promising notions turn up.®

*Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency

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