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[ih] Who Paid for the Internet? (was Re: sad news: Peter Kirstein)

> On 11/01/2020 19:04, Jack Haverty via Internet-history wrote:
>> There's probably a PhD thesis or two to be done in that early-Internet
>> arena - Who Paid For The Internet?

Hi Jack!

I expect that lots of theses have already been written on the topic.

Of course, as we both know, the answer is "after all, it was you and me."

I mean:

- tax dollars paid for some of the earliest backbones (like our 
favorites, the ARPANET and MILNET), and then for connection fees for 
university researchers to attach to some of the early academic networks.

- universities, corporations, etc. built huge amounts of infrastructure 
- paid for out of overhead & capital budgets

- corporations built a huge amount of backbone & last mile 
infrastructure, paid for from investment funds & profits

- we all pay for our home networks & end-devices out of our own pockets

- etc.

I tend to describe the Internet as the existence proof that (the 
collective) we know how to build globe-spanning, essential 
infrastructure, that is owned & controlled by billions of people & 
organizations, with nobody in control, held together by voluntary 
agreements & coordination by those who show up to things like the IETF.? 
(Kind of the model for my early work on "civic networking" and 
"electronic town halls," and more recently the model I talk about for 
how humanity might crowdsource a Green New Deal, before the planet fries.)



In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra

Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.
Practice is when everything works but no one knows why.
In our lab, theory and practice are combined:
nothing works and no one knows why.  ... unknown