Project to rebuild, redesign internet gets backing

A massive project to redesign and rebuild the internet from scratch is inching along with €7.7 million (US$12 million) in government funding and donations of network capacity by two major research organizations, according to an Associated Press report.

Many researchers want to rethink the internet's underlying architecture, saying a 'clean-slate' approach is the only way to truly address security and other challenges that have cropped up since the internet's birth in 1969, the Associated Press report added.

On behalf of the US government, BBN Technologies is overseeing the planning and design of the Global Environment for Network Innovations, or GENI, a network on which researchers will be able to test new ideas without damaging the current internet.

The €7.7 million (US$12 million) in initial grants from the National Science Foundation will go to developing prototypes for the GENI network.

To test these prototypes, the Internet2 organization is contributing 10Gbps of dedicated bandwidth, so researchers won't have to worry about normal internet traffic interfering with their experiments. National LambdaRail is offering another 30 gigabits per second of capacity, though it won't be dedicated to GENI at all times.

The bandwidth is thousands of times faster than standard home broadband connections, enough to run 30 high-quality movies into your home simultaneously.

Construction on GENI could start in about five years and cost €224.7 million (US$350 million). Congress still has to approve those funds.