NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Get Ready for "Internet II"

February 23, 2001

While the first round of internet hype has given way to e-depression in some quarters, the real Internet wars are just beginning, says columnist Thomas L. Friedman. The real Internet wars happen when all the old-line companies, with real assets, real size and real business models, fully absorb the Internet into their traditional businesses and start to take each other on with meaner, leaner companies.

Moreover, they will be helped in their efforts to speed up, lighten up and globalize every aspect of their businesses by the next generation of the Internet.

  • "Internet Two," about four years away, will combine broadband, wireless and IP V.6 Internet switches, which will enable everything with electricity to have its own Web address that will make it intelligent.
  • So your refrigerator will be able to talk to your grocery store over the Web or your company's cash registers directly to your manufacturer's assembly line.
  • "Internet Two is a smarter Internet that will allow us to have many more devices connected, controlled and be informed about those devices," says Bill Nuti, the president of Cisco Europe.

Not only could the next Internet spur a real business revolution, but a political revolution as well, as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), human rights groups, conservationists and other activists become fully Internet-enabled and use its power to challenge big companies and to force transparency on big governments.

Source: Thomas L. Friedman, "Hype and Anti-Hype," Foreign Affairs, New York Times, February 23, 2001.


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