Ten Problems for Internet in the 2020s

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Literature Review: Internet Problems for the 2020s

In the 50 years of its existence, the Internet has moved from an academic network to the supporting lifeline of the 21st century. The Internet has not only linked billions of users to one another, but revolutionized commerce, newspapers, television, and transportation. It is bringing information and education through all confines of the planet. Also, it has spearheaded the development of countless new connected devices, applications, and services. However, the client-server model, which has made the Internet ubiquitous and part of all aspects of modern life, is showing its age and now causing Internet problems. Technologies and architectures are paving the way for new Internet paradigms and models that are more appropriate for the applications and services of the future and accelerate the push for the softwarization and democratization of networking in general [1].

Over the last few years, most discussions about the next year’s Digital Transformation trends had begun to feel a bit repetitive: Cloud, Edge Compute, the IoT, AR… It always seemed like the same chairs being rearranged around the same old room. 2020 will be a departure from that. While the same core technologies that dominated these discussions will continue to be foundational to our collective digital transformation journey, 2020 will be defined by a fresh new class of technologies ready to graduate to the sidelines to center stage. Among them: 5G, AI, advanced data analytics, but also some that may surprise you [2].

The increasing use of information and communication technology (ICT) in all spheres of modern life makes the world a richer, more efficient and interactive place. However, it also increases its fragility, as it reinforces our dependence on ICT systems that can never be completely safe or secure. Therefore, cybersecurity has become a matter of global interest and importance. Accordingly, we can observe in today’s cybersecurity discourse an almost constant emphasis on an ever-increasing and diverse set of threats, ranging from basic computer viruses to sophisticated kinds of cybercrime and cyberespionage activities, as well as cyber-terror and cyberwar [3].

The Internet and the way people use it are constantly changing. Knowing traffic is crucial for operating the network, understanding users’ needs, and ultimately improving applications. the traffic, both from a point of view of users and services. We show that an ordinary broadband subscriber downloaded in 2017 more than twice as much as they used to do 5 years before. Bandwidth hungry video services drove this change at the beginning, while recently social messaging applications contribute to increase of data consumption. In the rush to bring servers closer and closer to users, we witness the birth of the sub-millisecond Internet, with caches located directly at Internet Service Provider edges [4].

The 5G technology is going to be one of the disruptive General Purpose Technology underpinning the Fourth Industrial Revolution and affects the economic growth potential and security of all countries, not just for countries aspiring to be in the technological frontier. The 5G industry ecosystem is still in an early stage of development, and the industry pecking order in the 5G era is still evolving. The likely outcome will be decided by whoever can best integrate the 5G technology with its economy and develop business cases to propel their national economic growth. Developing countries can tap the potential of 5G technology by concentrating on the application layer in their current economic activities [5].

Starting from such general references, this booklet identifies ten relevant areas from very recent contributions put forward at academic level in the form journal articles, conference proceedings and students theses. Ten freely accessible internet references have been selected for each area and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our selected references do not intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, diverse and scientifically-sound case studies for vertical dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also be able to scoop even more references through the bibliography that is reported at the end of each selected reference.

Without further ado, these are the “Ten Problems for Internet in the 2020s” that we are going to introduce in this booklet:

  1. software, 
  2. privacy,
  3. governance,
  4. wellbeing,
  5. jobs,
  6. commerce,
  7. infrastructure,
  8. blockchain,
  9. education,
  10. security.

Each problem has its own dedicated chapter made of an introductory section, a short presentation of the ten selected references and a conclusions section.

The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter again in order to provide a complete executive summary.


[1] M.J. Montpetit et al, “Future Internet: Architectures And Protocols”, 2019, IEEE Communications Magazine, July 2019, online at 

[2] D. Newman, “Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends For 2020”, 2019, Forbes, online at , consulted on 20 Mar 2020 

[3] M. Christen et al. (eds.), “The Ethics of Cybersecurity”, 2020, Springer Open, ISBN 978-3-030-29053-5, doi:, online at 

[4] M. Trevisan et al., “Five Years at the Edge: Watching Internet From the ISP Network”, 2020, In: IEEE-ACM TRANSACTIONS ON NETWORKING. – ISSN 1063-6692 – (2020), pp. 1-14, online at 

[5] H.C.H. Lee, “Tapping 5g to promote economic Development in The Developing countries”, 2019, TECH MONITOR , Apr-Jun 2019, online at internet movie database, internets, internet exp, internet protocol, internet banking

“Ten Problems for Internet in the 2020s” booklet for Amazon Kindle, 2020; click on the cover to go to the dedicated Amazon listing page internet movie database, internets, internet exp, internet protocol, internet banking