Future of Networks

Howard Kaplan hkaplan at UDCVAX.BITNET
Sat May 29 07:13:15 EST 1993


For those of you who had been following the discussion that ran under the
subject heading,"N.Y. Times & the Internet", you should be sure to read the
article "The Rocky Road to a Data Highway" in Science (21 May, v. 260, p. 1064)
   Two quotes from the article:  "Pressured by computer and telecommunications
companies to get out of day-to-day networking and let the free market take over,
NSF will over the next few years force most researchers to start using commer-
cial networks on their own dime."  "The whole contry's going to be wired, and
powerful economic forces, from the regional telephone companies to the cable
TV industry, are fighting to build the next generation of networks to service
it."
        I, as I've said before, have serious problems with this.  WHile one migh
t argua
 greater degree of efficiency might be introduced (emphasis on
might), efficiency does not presuppose effectiveness.  Such a development will
create, or help consolidate, an elite, blocki groups such as grad students
retired persons, unfunded researchers and just plain interested citizens.  It
will definitely restrict the flow and exchange of information and I, in no way,
see any good in tBills have already been introduced in congress (S-4, in
the senate and a house bill introduced by Rick Boucher of VA), both of which
are described in the above cited article.
Why is it that something called the "Free Market" always means that one has,
not only to pay for something, but to pay more?  This is just a rhetorical
gripe; please don't answer it.
                                Howard Kaplan
                                HKAPLAN at UDCVAX.BITNET



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