Internet Futures: Spotlight on the technologies which may shape the Internet of the future
People across the world use the Internet for a wide range of purposes, and the technology that drives these services is constantly evolving.
Our lives have been profoundly impacted by the Internet and the web – these two inventions have made the world a more connected but complex place. Billions of people are now online, creating an extremely busy ‘global village’ where many services in communication, commerce, education, entertainment and beyond exist. Because of the rapid advancements of the Internet and the expansions in these services, innovations in communications have rolled out on a global scale. In fact, some of the biggest companies in the world today were founded on the Internet solely, so they have played an important role in advocating for improvements. Coupled with a wide range of other factors, such as the diverse pool of different users hence different needs, it is likely that the technology that drives the Internet and the web will continue to develop.
As the UK’s communications regulator, it is important that Ofcom is aware of new types of Internet technology that may affect the future. We will monitor and consider the effects that these developments may have on the communications services we use every day. This helps to ensure that we meet our duties competently and we continue to help people and businesses to get the most out of their services, as well as to protect them from any potential risks.
This report shines a light on the innovative, emerging Internet technologies that could shape our Internet in the future. We have selected a sample of technologies based on the responses we received to our call for inputs, and the discussions we had with thought leaders in both academia and industry. We will however continue to identify other important Internet technologies as they emerge and in sectors beyond those considered in this report.