Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Warning over Broken Up Internet
The internet could one day be broken up into separate networks around the world, a leading light in the development of the net has warned. Nitin Desai, chair of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), set up by the UN, warned that concerns over the net's future could lead to separation. "People are concerned about whether the system we have now will also work five years from now," he said. Mr Desai was speaking at a conference in London to discuss the net. The conference was organised by Nominet, the UK body in charge of domain names ending .uk, ahead of the first-ever Internet Governance Forum, a global gathering of stakeholders in Athens later this month. Mr Desai said there were tensions about the future regulation of the net and over specific issues such as international domain names. "There are concerns over regulation as the internet, telephony and commerce come together," he said. "If I look at the internet in five years from now there are going to be very, very, very more internet users in Asia than Europe or America. "There will be more Chinese web pages than English pages. "The types of uses for the internet in India and China are very different from western countries - they are not commerce or media; they are essentially public service applications." The internet was increasingly being shaped by companies and organisations at the "edges" and not by government, public sector bodies and regulators, he said. This was concerning some countries who wanted more involvement in the development of the net.