Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

About the Future Internet

Article
The Internet is called on to perform increasingly many tasks - from online banking to tsunami monitoring. If the Internet could wish for anything on its 40th birthday, it would probably ask to be more powerful, connected and intuitive – responding to our needs at home, work or on the go.
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There was a time when connecting to the internet meant being tethered to a desk and chained down by cables. As wireless and mobile technology advance, users can not only surf the online world - but can also do it on the move, through a plethora of portable devices, including laptops, smart phones and tablets; with an increasing need for high-bandwidth, high-speed broadband that can cope with rich multimedia content.

Research projects funded by the European Commission are spearheading future networks which are fast, flexible and ever-responsive to demands from both humans and machines for access to content, apps and services relevant to the context and location of the user. This is how the future internet is evolving: as an internet of services, things and infrastructure. From smart appliances that talk to each other to clothes that monitor our health; from cars that cannot crash to mobile technologies and cloud platforms that run our businesses.

Workstrands under this heading include:

  • Research into the Future Internet
  • Research into the Network Technologies of the future
  • Research into Cloud Computing, Software and Services
  • Work on the Internet of Things - a system to connect all kinds of devices to the network - not just computers, but everything from your car to your fridge;
  • Experimental platforms such as FIRE (Future Internet Research and Experimentation) as a testing ground for new ideas;
  • The Future Internet Public-Private Partnership – a programme to improve business processes by Future Internet technology and to increase  competitiveness of European Future Internet technology;
  • The IPv6 protocol, which would expand the number of potential websites and avoid an "IP address crunch"
  • Forums in which to discuss and develop the Future Internet, including the Future Internet Assembly (FIA) and the Future Internet Forum (FIF)
  • Research into Trust and Security on the future internet.