The future of the Internet

Stephen Modena nmodena at ncsu.edu
Fri Jun 4 02:58:10 EST 1993


Three related items for those interested in policy issues.

1.------

In the June 1993 issue of CompuServe Magazine, there is a sidebar
titled "Civilizing Online: The EFF Wants You to Have Rights." [EFF
stands for Electronic Frontier Foundation]
A short excerpt: "Another hot issue comes with the laws needed to
govern traffic on the emerging "data highwways," such as those
touted by United States Vice President Al Gore.  Who should pay for
the future public communications network?  Who should build it? 
What technology should be used? By taking a stand on htese issues
before they've been legislated, the EFF hopes to be at the
forefront of the decision-making process.

"CompuServe's Electronic Fromtier Foundation Forum [GO EFFSIG] brims
with debate on how to 'settle and civilize cyberspace."....."

On usenet, activate these in your .newsrc file: 
	comp.org.eff.news
	comp.org.eff.talk

2. ------

In the May 24th issue of InfoWorld on page 71:

"Businesses are making the Internet connection

" More companies are turning to this superhighway to find and
	serve customers

"Once the exclusive backwater of the federal government and academic
researchers, the Internet, the world's largest computer network, has
emerged as a giant "infomart" for Fortune 500 companies.  Propelled by
advances in computing power and packet-switched networks, the Internet
is poised to become the staple of modern business communication.

"......Since June 1991, the Internet has jumped from 2,982
interconnected networks supporting more than 130,000 computers to more
than 10,500 networks with more than 8 million users, according to a
database maintained by Merit Inc., an Ann Arbor, MI firm that manages
the National Science Foundation component of the Internet.  The total
number of users is expected to top 100 million by 1998, Merit officials
say.

"'The momentum seems unstoppable...best thinking is that it will reach
into the billions of dollars early in the 21 Century,' says Christopher
Locke of _The Internet Business Journal_....."

The article goes on with examples of how businesses use the Internet for
functions not much different than current academic and research
activites now seen on Usenet and Bionet.

3. ------

Last night after giving ham radio exams, an acquaintance who recently
graduated from here (NCSU) mentioned to me that he would soon appear on the
Internet, via a new connection being set up ( Exide.com ).  Of course,
he had "learned" the value of Usenet while studing CS here.  He went on
to point out that an Internet connection was a logical, efficient way to
develop, support and test networking software and hardware support
systems (such as "intelligent" Uninteruptable Power Supplies that could
be monitored/manipulated remotely via a network).  The company he works
for already had a number of high speed telecommunications lines, but the
connection to the Internet via CONCERT has value-added that didn't exist
on private point-to-point Wide Area Networks.

It's clear to me that expansion of the Internet is an *inevitable*
consequense of bright people learning of and tasting it during university
years, and then naturally tapping it's utility once they enter the
public and private economies!  In fact, I'm sure that this was the
original intention of DARPA's commitment way, way back....and I believe
it also fits well with NSF's recent self-reevaluation away from being an
esoteric cash cow to becoming a relevant promoter of fundamental science
and technology needed to maintain a vigorous economy and a healthy society.

Steve
---
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|     In person:  Steve Modena     AB4EL                           |
|     On phone:   (919) 515-5328                                   |
|     At e-mail:  nmodena at unity.ncsu.edu                           | 
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         Lighten UP!  It's just a computer doing that to you.
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-- 
Stephen A. Modena      
nmodena at unity.ncsu.edu    samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu



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