In this talk, I will present some recent efforts directed to the deployment of a quantum internet in the near future. First, I will present stages towards the development a full blown quantum internet. Each stage is characterized by a specific increase in network functionality at the expense of a matching increase in experimental difficulty. I will highlight some known application protocols that can be realized in each stage and discuss simple tests to certify that a particular stage as been attained. Then, I will describe our program for designing large quantum networks. This includes a fast heuristic optimization algorithm for entanglement distribution on large networks and a quantum network simulator that we dub QNetSquid. Finally, I will present some preliminary numerical results for a quantum network based on NV centers.