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Japan plans research for new network to replace Internet
[August 28, 2007]

Japan plans research for new network to replace Internet

By YURI KAGEYAMA AP Business Writer
The Associated Press

Japan will start research on new network technology to replace the Internet to tackle growing quality and security problems, a government official said Tuesday.

U.S. and European researchers have already started research to rebuild the underlying architecture of the Internet, a move that could mean replacing networking equipment and rewriting software on computers.

Yoshihiro Onishi, assistant director at the Japanese communications ministry, said Japan feels it's crucial to follow suit to stay competitive. Post-Internet network technology is expected to become imperative by 2020, he said.

"The Internet is reaching its limit," he said. "We feel this research for the technology is definitely needed."

The ministry is now working to set up a research organization by fall next year. It will request a budget for the fiscal year starting April 1, 2008, although the amount of money has yet to be decided.

Cooperating on the research with other nations, including the U.S., will be an option, Onishi said.

Among the concerns researchers may address is the need to set up an ecological network that consumes low levels of energy.

With the arrival of hackers and spammers, and the proliferation of laptops and other mobile devices, scientists are starting to believe a totally new network is needed.

The new network may run parallel with the Internet or eventually replace it, or parts of the research could go into a major overhaul of the existing architecture.

In the U.S., such efforts are still in their early stages and aren't expected to bear fruit for another 10 or 15 years. Congress has yet to come up with funding for the projects.

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