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MSc Course on Internet Technologies and Regulation: Internet Architecture (1)

With Dr Joss Wright
10 Oct 2012
With Dr Joss Wright

Unlike the intelligent circuit-switched telephone network, the ‘dumb’ Internet carries data in packets that are routed through the federation of networks that communicate using the Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite. This lecture will cover the basic concepts and policy implications of the Internet technical architecture, including the end-to-end principle, the IP ‘hourglass’, and how real-time and best-effort reliable communications are carried over lossy networks. It will also explain the significance of newer developments such as IPv6.

  • Is the ‘future’ Internet likely to be an evolutionary or revolutionary change from the current network?
  • How much ‘smarter’ should the Internet become?

About the course

This multi-disciplinary course exposes students to basic communications and computer science materials on the core technological principles of the Internet, as well as more traditional social science materials such as public policy documents and reports as well as academic texts. In order to reinforce students’ appreciation of the importance of adopting a technologically informed approach to studying the Internet, the course covers several key policy debates such as content regulation, privacy and security and Internet governance, in each case identifying the extent to which the range of policy options is narrowed or expanded by fast-moving technological innovation, and shifts in public policy and regulation. This will, in addition, enable students to appreciate the broader implications and relevance of academic study in this field.

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