Banner WTPF 2009

Statement by Dr. Robert Kahn Chairman
CEO and President

My name is Bob Kahn, President & CEO of Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ITU and the Government of Portugal for organizing and hosting this Fourth WTPF.
On Tuesday, the Strategic Dialogue on ICT indicated, among other things, 1) the potential role of ICT in helping us out of the current financial crisis; 2) the role the Internet has played throughout the world in recent years; and 3) the key importance of creativity & technological innovation in future of the Internet.
For many of today's technologies, new capabilities will allow the Internet to evolve in a positive and productive fashion. We have already heard reference to two different interpretations of NGNs as Next Generation Networks and as New Generation Networks, both of which speak to evolution of networks and the telecommunications environment more generally that enables the Internet.
As another example of evolution, let us consider addressing. The first packet network, ARPANET, used 16 bit addresses, which allowed up to 64K wires on a single net to be addressed. The Internet anticipated a much larger user community and many networks – allowed up to 4B routing end points over all the networks – today we know this as IPv4 with its 32 bit addresses. The Domain Name System (DNS) is an application that maps names to IP addresses. It allowed named computers to be designated semantically and thus mapped to IP addresses.
Today, we believe the future of Internet lies as much in the realm of information management as in just communicating undifferentiated bits. Included here would be identity management, security and the ability to facilitate collaboration and interoperability between systems and individuals.
The Digital Object Architecture is CNRI’s contribution to that objective. Major components of the architecture have been implemented and are available as open source software, including:

  •  Handle System for resolving unique Ids;
  •  Repositories for storing digital objects and for accessing them by their identifiers; and
  •  Registries for federating repositories and enabling search across such federated collections.

This architecture offers an alternative approach to managing key attributes of the Internet now and in the future.
In closing, I would like to recognize the importance of developing effective policies and procedures to deal with existing challenges for the Internet. However, in my opinion, the future of the Internet lies in creativity and innovation, and the ability of all participants to make good use of new ICT developments. I trust the objective of stimulating creativity and innovation will remain in clear focus as the WTPF pursues its ambitious agenda.