Network World

October 20, 1997

From a user perspective, stupid nets are a smart idea

by Ira Brodsky

"The future belongs to stupid networks - networks that do just what users tell them to. This insight has been skillfully articulated by a most unlikely source. David Isenberg, a self-described telephone company nerd at AT&T Labs, has dared to think the unthinkable: The days of centralized, switch-based telephone networks are numbered . . . Giving control to users is a major innovation. Just as microcomputers freed people from having to rely on mainframe programmers, stupid networks permit users to . . . add new functions merely by swapping or reconfiguring endpoint software . . . " (for the full text, see Ira Brodsky's "Totally Unplugged column, p. 54)

Date last modified: Dec 23 1997