Pentagon to Move to Next-Generation Internet

The Defense Department said on Friday it planned to link its high-tech weaponry, battlefield sensors and other communications systems to an upgraded Internet operating system within five years. John Stenbit, the Pentagons chief information officer, said the current system, which the Defense Department helped develop decades ago, was too limited to meet the needs of todays technology-driven armed forces.

It was not secure enough and was too prone to dropping information "packets" used in such things as videoconferencing, he told reporters. Another shortcoming, he said, was the limited, telephone-like numbering system that underpins familiar domain names such as www.yahoo.com. Stenbit said the Pentagon planned a five-year switchover to the new system, or protocol, because he expected a majority of cellphones, laptops and other devices that connect to the Internet to use the new approach by then.

"My best guess is that its going to happen commercially before 2008 or I wouldnt have chosen 2008," he told reporters. "If we dont start buying the stuff today, were in trouble whenever it happens."

The Internets current operating system, IPv4, has been in use for almost 30 years by the Defense Department.

News source: Reuters

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