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May 14, 2014

Future Internet Program Goes from Design to Proof-of-Concept

Tiffany Trader

This week, the NSF announced $15 million in awards “to develop, deploy and test future Internet architectures” – as the third stage of the Future Internet Architecture (FIA) program gets underway.

First conceived in 2007, FIA aims to design, explore, and show proof of concept of computer networking architectures that could meet the needs of the 21st century.


The first phase solicited Future Internet Design (FIND) projects and awarded proposals that pursued innovative network architectural components. The 2010-era second stage funded projects of reasonable scale that featured integrated trustworthy architectures. The third phase, termed FIA Next Phase (FIA-NP) seeks to move those second stage efforts from the design stage to piloted deployments that simulate large-scale real-world environments.

The $15 million award will support three, multi-institutional projects – pilot networks aimed at enhancing security, addressing emerging service challenges and ensuring scalability. Researchers will work directly with cities, non-profits and other public and private entities to boost the accuracy of models and get feedback.

“NSF-funded research has been instrumental in advancing network technologies, beginning with the first large-scale use of Internet technologies to link researchers to the nation’s supercomputing centers through NSFNET and along the way, helping to transition the network into the self-governing and commercially viable Internet we know today,” said Farnam Jahanian, head of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at NSF.

Researchers expect the future Internet will include a mix of novel network architectures and networking concepts. The projects will also explore the Internet in the context of larger societal issues.

The three projects supported through the FIA-Next Phase are:

  • Deployment-Driven Evaluation and Evolution of the eXpressive Internet Architecture (XIA-NP), led by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, with partners at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Duke University and Boston University.
  • Named Data Networking Next Phase (NDN-NP), led by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, with collaborators at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of California, San Diego, Washington University, University of Michigan, Colorado State University, University of Memphis and University of Arizona.
  • The Next-Phase MobilityFirst Project – From Architecture and Protocol Design to Advanced Services and Trial Deployments (MobilityFirst-NP), led by Rutgers University with partners at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Duke University.
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