Ebone to Explore Internet’s Future with New Lab

[London, ENGLAND] Global TeleSystems’ division Ebone announced
Wednesday the creation of Ebone IP Future Lab, a European
institution that will explore the future of the Internet
and develop new ways of using Internet Protocol.

Among the people scheduled to work at Ebone IP Future Lab
are members of the original team that developed the
Ebone network, the first European IP backbone.

Duncan Lewis, Ebone president and chief operating officer,
said there were sufficient intellectual assets embedded within
the company to help European businesses become more effective
in their internal operations and in their relationships with
customers and suppliers.

“I believe we have really only scratched the surface in what
IP can do to break down communications, work-flow and cost
barriers and thus unlock business potential,” said Lewis.

Heading the Lab will be IP pioneer Frode Greisen who helped
establish Ebone in 1991. Also a founder member of the
Internet Society and president of the European Academic
Research Network (EARN), Greisen said the current period
is the most exciting time in all the years he has been
associated with the Internet and IP technology.

“IP has now become widely accepted as the de facto standard
for networked communications worldwide, while at the same
time we are seeing monumental breakthroughs in optical
technology. The implications of these developments will
transform the way companies communicate and do business in
ways we have not yet imagined or understood,” said Greisen.

Other senior members of Ebone IP Future Lab include Sean Doran,
Bjorn Carlsson, Steen Linden and Peter Maersk-Moller, each of
whom is a leading authority in his area of expertise. Doran,
for example, was the first employee of UUNet in Canada and
the architect of Sprint’s domestic and international IP
network.

So, in practical terms, what activities will the new
lab carry out? Will Ebone IP Future Lab become another
Xerox PARC — as appears to be the intention — or will
it be overtaken by events and non-IP technologies?

Ebone says the mandate is to explore the issues
that still need to be addressed “if IP is to reach its
full potential as a transformational technology.”
They range from service delivery, availability
and ease of use — to engineering issues such as
interoperability with optical technologies — and
on to new applications and even commercial
aspects “such as peering and pricing.”

To the outside world, it may sound as if the
experts at Ebone IP Future Lab will be spread
somewhat thinly over their vast mandate. Only time
will tell if they can create a culture where new
ideas flourish and new, useful technology emerges.

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