The convergence of the different types of communications networks onto one platform represents the first phase in building the intelligent information network. We are currently in this phase of network evolution. The next phase will be to consolidate not only the different types of messages onto a single network, but to also consolidate the applications that generate, transmit, and secure the messages onto integrated network devices.

Not only will voice and video be transmitted over the same network, the devices that perform the telephone switching and video broadcasting will be the same devices that route the messages through the network. The resulting communications platform will provide high quality application functionality at a reduced cost.

The pace at which the development of exciting new converged network applications is occurring can be attributed to the rapid growth and expansion of the Internet. With only about 10 billion of the 1.5 trillion things currently connected globally, there is vast potential to connect the unconnected via the IoE. This expansion has created a wider audience for whatever message, product, or service can be delivered.

The underlying mechanics and processes that drive this explosive growth have resulted in a network architecture that is both capable of supporting changes and able to grow. As the supporting technology platform for living, learning, working, and playing in the human network, the network architecture of the Internet must adapt to constantly changing requirements for a high quality of service and security.