The university researchers who began construction on the internet some four decades ago never imagined the power their creation would have today. They toiled away in their labs quietly, and few outside cared.

That won't be the case with a next-generation internet envisioned as an ultimate replacement for the current one.

Commercial and policy interests will likely play a bigger role this time, as researchers explore "clean slate" designs that scrap the internet's underlying architecture to better address security, mobility, and other emerging needs.

Will the greater attention on these efforts ultimately be their undoing?

"The success of the internet can be largely


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