Quarantine has changed the way we connect, online and off. As we rely on the internet more and more for work, social connections, and basic needs, it is time to talk about the future of meaningful online experiences, and the need for a new internet architecture. We need a user-focused, localized internet. This competitive architecture would deliver an experience that values real-time connectivity over one-way advertising and puts control with the user, not with big tech platforms.
This paradigm would flip the model on its head, letting people start with complete privacy and security, and from there allow them to open their channels depending on trust level. It inverts the terms of service, where instead of any platform imposing them on users, users impose theirs terms on the platform.
Daniel Berninger is an early VoIP pioneer and founder of the New Architecture Foundation. Jeff Pulver is an internet entrepreneur and VoIP pioneer who founded ventures including Vonage.
A new architecture that competes with the “public” internet is completely possible, and it begins with a policy approach that fosters the necessary innovation and investment, while allowing for flexibility and experimentation.
Fixing the internet is not rooted in treating it like a public utility; it is not to be found in micromanagement by government. In fact, those very backward-looking policies only fuel more harm by protecting the status quo, which is likely why big tech platforms have been so fervently pushing for them.
Over the past decade, progressives