The public internet should migrate to a programmable backbone-as-a-service architecture, says a team of network engineers behind NOIA, a startup promising to revolutionize global traffic. They say the internet will be more efficient if internet protocols and routing technologies are re-worked and then combined with a traffic-trading blockchain.\nIt\u2019s \u201cimpossible to use internet for modern applications,\u201d the company says on its website. \u201cAlmost all global internet companies struggle to ensure uptime and reliable user experience.\u201d\nThat\u2019s because modern techniques aren\u2019t being introduced fully, NOIA says. The engineers say algorithms should be implemented to route traffic and that segment routing technology should be adopted. Plus, blockchain should be instigated to trade internet transit capacity. A \u201cprogrammable internet solves the web\u2019s inefficiencies,\u201d a representative from NOIA told me.\n\nDeprecate the public internet\nNOIA has started introducing a caching, distributed content delivery application to improve website loading times, but it wants to ultimately deprecate the existing internet completely.\nThe company currently has 353 active cache nodes around the world, with a total 27 terabytes of storage for that caching system\u2014NOIA clients contribute spare bandwidth and storage. It\u2019s also testing a network backbone using four providers with European and American locations that it says will be the development environment for its envisaged software-defined and radical internet replacement.\nThe problem with today's internet\nThe \u201cinternet is a mesh of tangled up cables,\u201d NOIA says. \u201cThousands of physically connected networks\u201d are involved. Any configuration alterations in any of the jumble of networks causes issues with the protocols, it explains. The company is referring to Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which lets routers discover paths to IP addresses through the disparate networks. Because BGP only forwards to a neighboring router, it doesn\u2019t manage the entire route. That introduces \u201csevere variability\u201d or unreliability.\n\u201cIt is impossible to guarantee service reliability without using overlay networks. Low-latency, performance-critical applications, and games cannot operate on public Internet,\u201d the company says.\nHow a software-defined internet works\nNOIA's idea is to use\u00a0IPv6, the latest internet protocol. IPv6 features an expanded packet size and allows custom headers. The company then adds segment routing to create Segment Routing over IPv6 (SRv6). That SRv6 combo adds routing information to each data packet sent\u2014a packet-level programmable network, in other words.\nSegment routing, roughly, is an updated internet protocol that lets routers comprehend routing information in packet headers and then perform the routing. Cisco has been using it, too.\nNOIA\u2019s network then adds the SRv6 amalgamation to distributed ledger technology (blockchain) in order to let ISPs and data centers buy and sell the routes\u2014buyers can choose their routes in the exchange, too.\nIn addition to trade, blockchain introduces security. It's worth noting that routings aren\u2019t the only internet technologies that could be disrupted due to blockchain. In April I wrote about organizations that propose moving data storage transactions over to distributed ledgers. They say that will be more secure than anything seen before. Ethernet\u2019s lack of inherent security could be corrected by smart contract, trackable verifiable transactions, say some. And, of course, supply chain, the automotive vertical, and the selling of sensor data overall may emerge as use-contenders for secure, blockchain in the internet of things.\nIn NOIA\u2019s case, with SRv6 blended with distributed ledgers, the encrypted ledger holds the IP addresses, but it is architecturally decentralized\u2014no one controls it. That\u2019s one element of added security, along with the aforementioned trading, provided by the ledger.\nThat trading could handle the question of who\u2019s paying for all this. However, NOIA says current internet hardware will be able to understand the segment routings, so no new equipment investments are needed.