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Next Generation Internet

In the period 2017-2018 the European Commission commissioned a study to NLnet foundation and Gartner. The task of the project was to write a vision for the Next Generation Internet, prioritize research topics and advise on how do architect the initiative.

NGI study report: Next Generation Internet 2025
EC Publication Office, October 5th 2018
Printed version: ISBN 978-92-79-86467-4

There is also an interim study report with many more additional details which was produced as an intermediate result of the study.

After the report was written, the actual series of grant programmes from NGI was started — some of which involve(d) NLnet Foundation. In particular the various NGI Zero programmes (led by NLnet) and NGI Assure. Note that more up to date information about these programmes is available from these pages:

Logo NGI Zero: letterlogo shaped like a tag Logo NGI Assure: letterlogo shaped like a tag

What follows is the original content as was present during this study, for historical purposes.

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The internet is a technology ‘commons’ unlike anything before – a shared benefit and shared responsibility for all of its users. It was never designed to perform the tasks it is expected to perform, and it is certainly not future proof as-is.

We need to do better in making sure that the internet as a shared global technical and social infrastructure is able to carry its heavy responsibility. This is especially relevant as we are about to embark on fascinating new journeys where we depend entirely on a safe, secure and open internet as a carrier - including an expected flood of connected devices on the outside and inside of our bodies, vehicles, buildings and infrastructure.

Trust at a global scale does not come for free: at the heart of sustainable trust lies actual trustworthiness that requires significant investment of time and resources. Research shows that while users may not always understand the way the technology works, they understand very well that the internet they want and need is an open, reliable internet that they can trust without any reservation whatsoever.

In recent years it has become all too clear that in addition to the obvious scalability issues there are many unforeseen persistent security and privacy challenges. Many of the challenges can be solved, and in fact working solutions are often known, but the transition at internet scale requires a systemic approach in addressing deep underlying technical issues, creating transition mechanism - as well as (in some cases) changing legal and governance parameters.

Introducing the Next Generation Internet initiative

This complex and precarious situation won’t fix itself, and needs significant research investment as well as a concerted strategic effort. If we want people to trust the internet with – in essence – their private and social lives, as well as their business and government, the technology itself needs to be entirely trustworthy. The European Commission’s DG CONNECT is therefore embarking on the Next Generation Internet initiative.

The NGI initiative wants to support the creation of an internet that supersedes the current internet, which supports citizens and businesses push further the frontiers of technology, an internet which retains people's trust in the online environment as well as their internet engagement, which is more human-centric and which offers the same fair opportunities to everyone (level playing field). Europe aims to shape this future Internet as a powerful, open, data-driven, user-centric, interoperable platform ecosystem.

Which brings us to you, to the here and now. If you were given the opportunity to suggest funded research and development, what would you suggest to make the Internet better? The key thing we ask you to help us with, is to understand the issues and possible approaches to solve them.

In short:

what do you believe are the actionable issues we as the Internet’s stakeholders should collectively solve to be ready for the future?

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Tips and FAQ

How to best provide input

We prefer your contribution to be as concise and concrete as possible. Try to make as few assumptions as possible about our knowledge of your particular subject. Please provide links to papers or other publications, to help us get the most out of your contribution. If you leave your contact details, it will be possible for us to follow up with questions; however, anonymous contributions are certainly not a problem. We assume that by contributing, you allow us to use your input for further steps in the NGI process. By contributing, you certify that you



The Domain Name System is fundamentally unreliable from a security perspective, and also does not offer any privacy. Known fixes such as DNSSEC and DNS-over-TLS are not universally available client-side, and thus cannot be in the places where they are needed the most.


NGI should fund the implementation of DNSSEC and DNS-over-TLS in the top X open source DNS servers and DNS libraries. NGI should mandate the availability of both in commercial offerings of internet access providers.

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Making multiple contributions

When you've made a submission, you can add more - there are in fact no limits to the amount of contributions you can make. Therefore it does make sense to split separate issues into multiple contributions. This will make sure that every part of your contribution gets the attention it deserves.

Long contributions

We acknowledge that while we tried to make sure the form we provide is as user friendly as possible, a more complex contribution may not 'fit' very well into a web form. So you can also e-mail your idea to NGI.input @


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When it comes to important ideas that can help improve our society, there really are no boundaries. The challenge is to turn those opportunities into reality. Great ideas just come, but they are gone in a breeze as well. Lets make good use of them.