(IEEESpectrum) The IEEE Spectrum article provides an extensive history of the Arpanet Request for Comments and explains that (RFC) may be the ARPANET’s most enduring legacy–extending now into the quantum internet.
The Internet Engineering Task Force set up by ARPANET meets every four months at an open conference that bounces from continent to continent, more than 1,000 people from around the world gather with change on their minds. Their vision of the global network that all humanity shares is dynamic, evolving, and continuously improving. Their efforts combine with the contributions of myriad others to ensure that the Internet always works but is never done, never complete.
The pioneers deliberately adopted a collaborative, consensus-based process to develop protocols for the ARPANETand those ideas have persisted and succeeded, even as the physical network has evolved from 50-kilobit-per-second telephone lines in the mid-1960s to the fiber-optic, 5G, and satellite links of today.
The group is even now looking toward quantum Internet communication. A RFC for the Quantum Internet-Draft is on file.Te specification for this or any other new protocol will appear in a Request for Comments only after it has been approved for formal adoption and published. At that point, comments are no longer actually requested.
The vision of a quantum internet is to fundamentally enhance Internet
technology by enabling quantum communication between any two points
on Earth. To achieve this goal, a quantum network stack should be
built from the ground up as the physical nature of the communication
is fundamentally different. The first realisations of quantum
networks are imminent, but there is no practical proposal for how to
organise, utilise, and manage such networks. In this memo, we
attempt to lay down the framework and introduce some basic
architectural principles for a quantum internet. This is intended
for general guidance and general interest, but also to provide a
foundation for discussion between physicists and network specialists.