A panel session on the future of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) was invited to predict what networks would look like in ten years’ time. Participants made a couple of interesting observations about this. Dave Lambert (Internet2) suggested that if NRENs in 2021 turn out how we now expect then we will have failed in our role as transformational leaders. Claudio Allochio (GARR) pointed out that ten years ago we thought our job was to provide networks and services to users who provide education, training and research. Now, on the contrary, we are providing them with training on how to build novel network services!
A couple of predictions seem a little safer: that (according to all the panelists) in ten years’ time there will still be a need to deliver advanced services for education and research that are not available (or only at prohibitive cost) from the commercial market, and that there will be another interesting and enjoyable TERENA conference in Reykjavik in May 2012.