Technologists are already developing Internet2, the super-fast web promising to deliver speeds that leave Broadband in the proverbial dust. But with many banks still grappling with today’s technology, how many will be ready for tomorrow’s? By Chris Skinner

It is more than 30 years since the foundations of the internet were formed. But those foundations are creaking under today’s mega-file, mega-email, mega-bandwidth world.

Now scientists believe the internet is fundamentally flawed. The original vision did not design for billions of users engaged in real-time interactions exchanging music, films and other media. As a result, academics and technologists are building the next-generation internet. Code-named “Internet2”, they aim to rewire the world. What will this mean for bank products, services, processes and people?

Quite a lot. For example, consider that we work with maximum speeds of about three megabits per second. That means it takes about a day to download a DVD movie from the internet. With Internet2, it will take 30 seconds. This next-generation web will therefore exploit the opportunity to integrate all forms of media into a single unit. Forget television; we will all want this new form of integrated entertainment station. A station in which you can fully immerse yourself in live video, live games, virtual realities, augmented realities – you name it, you can do it.

Supersonic speed

The next-generation internet will allow banks to deliver services way beyond those available in any channel today. Network speeds 1000 times faster than today’s broadband will enable financial markets to operate at nanosecond transaction rates for trillions of transactions. World markets will use automated engines to trade a fraction of a share per deal. Investment advisors will provide high net-worth services to low net-worth individuals through online, televisual-style broadcasts. The best advice will be offered through a direct-into-the-home connection without entering the home. Think about 1:1 marketing on a cinema screen. Internet2-enabled, high-definition, TV-style advertising will mean the advert will sing my name and change my loan rate based on my personalised preferences at the point of interaction.

Banks lagging behind

The Internet2 world will be a massive leap over today’s networks. But it will be five years or more before we’ll see it emerge. What concerns me is that most banks have not even heard of it, let alone thought about what they might do with it. And many banks are still upgrading systems to work with today’s internet. By the time they get up to speed, the next-generation internet will arrive and they will have to start all over again.

Chris Skinner is founder of Shaping Tomorrow and chief executive of Balatro Ltd. Find out more at or e-mail Chris at


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