What began as a small government project has now become the largest entity on the planet. ARPANET was a small network consisting of a few computers communicating at stiflingly slow rates. The National Science Foundation took interest in the project and took it under its wing. The NSF had seen potential in the ARPANET. It's potential for large-scale data sharing and education enhancement was overwhelming. Soon after, the term "Internet" was coined and thus the information highway was born. But soon, as with most things, commercialization reared its ugly head, which was expected and actually intended for. All along the Information Highway, litter continued to grow. Traffic through the Internet increased exponentially and it began slowing down as it reached the limits of its capacity and the level of technology that spawned it.
Now a group of universities worldwide are planning an exodus. They propose to build Internet II, which will consist only of the newest technologies. Faster data transfers, high-speed networks, and no garbage are the goals of this exodus. Inevitably, Internet II will eventually accumulate trash and commercialization. When that happens, they can just build Internet III. This cycle of creating new Internets could insure that education and research always have the newest and best technologies.
Of course, for this to happen, everyone will have to agree on a set of standards and protocols and so forth. In other words, there's still a long way to go.
For more info email Paul Evans Peters.