The Infranet is one of the prospective architectures for the Internet and all future networks that are based on packet transmissions. This type of architecture seeks to reform the current Internet by approaching it from a different perspective. Rather than using what services are available to develop applications around, the Infranet seeks to answer the question of what services are needed and to provide those services for the use of applications.
During the lifetime of the Internet, there have been many changes and additions made to both the underlying structure as well as the services that are provided. This has resulted in a large mixture of types of protocols and services that sometimes conflict with one another. In other cases, the protocols and services could be designed in a much more efficient manner.
The Infranet is a potential solution to these problems. Rather than the Internet existing as a series of protocols that exist and have applications built around them, the Infranet would work by re-evaluating which services are required and implementing those services. This would have the advantage of avoiding the complications of having conflicting protocols, as well as helping to decrease the amount of redundancy. It could potentially be used to remove all antiquated protocols as well.
The Infranet is classified as a top-down approach to the designing of the global network. A top-down approach consists of breaking apart a system into segments in order to gain greater insight into the workings of the system. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an organization that works to create the standards for most protocols used in today's Internet. This is a bottom-up approach, as several systems are integrated into a much larger and more complex system. This type of approach is often easier, but it is also much less efficient than a top-down approach in many ways.
The Infranet may also refer to a system that has been proposed that would enable individuals who live in areas that do not have uncensored access to information to view the web without censure. This system would work by allowing sensitive or prohibited information to be transferred hidden within anodyne data. This is a type of steganography, which is the science of writing hidden messages within segments of text. This method of information transfer would allow the Infranet to bypass known methods of data filtering used by countries to censor information.