Internet Stifles Innovation, Says CEO

A lack of support for voice and video applications may
hinder the Internet’s success, according to Craig Benson, CEO of Cabletron who delivered a
keynote at this year’s ComNet conference.

“The Net should be an enabler; not a holdback to innovation,” said Benson.
“The Internet is not well-suited for
voice and video. It drives a data infrastructure. Many customers would have
voice and video on their Web site if the Net could handle the
size of the downloads. Instead, they have to dummy down their site because
the Internet can’t
handle it.”

He added that today’s networks are generally unreliable, and as business
grows, networks need to grow as well to accommodate the demand.

“Networks are a black hole to most people,” he said. “They need to be more
utility-like. They must be scalable and manageable in order to deliver
enhanced business value,” explained Benson. “Giving downloaded
clips of the elaborate screen savers the same priority as mission critical
applications such as SAP
doesn’t make sense.”

“Network managers need to figure out what applications
are running on their
networks and portion bandwidth accordingly,” said Benson.

As a possible solution, Benson recommended that networks should be broken
up into
multi-vendor platforms in order to more effectively service customers.

“No other utility depends on a single provider to provide the components of
its infrastructure,” Benson noted. “Customers want reliable,
best-of-class solutions, and do not want to be
tied into the future of any single vendor.”

Benson’s keynote was part of the ComNet/San Francisco Conference and
Exposition, in San Francisco, covering the telecommunications and data
communications industry.

Cabletron, an internetworking solutions provider, is based in Rochester,
New Hampshire. The company was founded in 1983 by S. Robert Levine and
Craig Benson. It said it supplies over $1.5 billion worth of networking
equipment, including manageable
Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, Token Ring, SNA, FDDI, ATM,
ISDN and Frame Relay products.

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