Rise of the Stupid Network

The Intelligent Network is a straight-line extension of the four assumptions above – scarcity, voice, circuit switching, and control. Its primary design impetus was not customer service. Rather, the Intelligent Network was a telephone company attempt to engineer vendor independence, more automatic operation, and some “intelligent” new services into existing network architecture. However, even as it rolls out and matures, the Intelligent Network is being superseded by a Stupid Network, with nothing but dumb transport in the middle, and intelligent user-controlled endpoints, whose design is guided by plenty, not scarcity, and where transport is guided by the needs of the data, not the design assumptions of the network.

Read David Isenberg’s seminal article defining the Internet as a “stupid” network and contribute your thoughts on it at the Whats New Media Wiki.


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Filed under History of New Media, Media Evolution, Networks, The Reading Room

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