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[ih] Who Paid for the Internet? (was Re: sad news: Peter Kirstein)
And I don't think the EFF's comments then were any more accurate than their recent comments on the .org registry.
On 15-Jan-20 08:12, the keyboard of geoff goodfellow via Internet-history wrote:
> and then, there was this:
> *Data Network Raises Monopoly Fear*
> By JOHN MARKOFF
> The New York Times
> December 19, 1991
> Soon after President Bush signed legislation calling for the creation of a
> nationwide computer data "superhighway," a debate has erupted over whether
> the Government gave an unfair advantage to a joint venture of I.B.M. MCI
> that built and manages a key part of the network.
> The venture, known as Advanced Network and Services, manages a network
> called NSFnet, which connects hundreds of research centers and
> universities. NSFnet also manages links to dozens of other countries. All
> these networks are collectively known as Internet.
> Some private competitors say Advanced Network and Services uses its favored
> position to squeeze them out of the data-transmission market by
> establishing rules that make it difficult to connect to NSFnet.
> *Traffic Has Doubled*
> NSFnet was founded by the National Science Foundation, a Federal agency,
> and is composed of leased telephone lines that link special computers
> called routers, which transmit packages of data to three million users in
> 33 countries. Data traffic over the NSFnet backbone has doubled in the last
> The Government wants to develop a national data highway for electronic
> commerce, digital video transmissions to homes and vast electronic
> libraries that could be drawn on by the nation's schools.
> Advanced Network and Services, based in Elmsford, N.Y., was set up last
> year as a nonprofit corporation with $10 million from the International
> Business Machines Corporation and the MCI Communications Corporation.
> Earlier this year it set up a for-profit subsidiary, called ANS CO+RE
> (pronounced core), to sell computer network services. That led some
> competitors to complain that Advanced Network and Services would be able to
> compete unfairly because of its arrangement with the Government.
> *Fear Loss of Innovation*
> People involved in planning for a national data network say it is essential
> to provide for fair competition, which will lead rival companies to offer
> creative and entrepreneurial services in the hope of building market share.
> Without competiton, they say, the Government will have created a monopoly
> that has little incentive to innovate.
> "This is the first major communication business to be born under the
> deregulation era," said David Farber, a computer scientist at the
> University of Pennsylvania and a pioneer in data networking. "This hasn't
> happened since the growth of the telephone industry. You want it to be a
> business that doesn't repeat the errors of the past."
> In recent years, the National Science Foundation has tried to shift its
> operations and ownership of NSFnet to Advanced Network and Services. And it
> will try to establish competition through contracts for networks to compete
> with NSFnet next year.
> But there is no level playing field, complained William L. Schrader,
> president of Performance Systems International Inc., a Reston, Va., company
> that provides commercial data connections to Internet. He made public two
> letters between officials of Advanced Network and Services and the National
> Science Foundation that he said gave the company unfair control over access
> to the network. The result, he added, was that the Government turned over
> valuable public property to a private company.
> "It's like taking a Federal park and giving it to K Mart," Mr. Schrader
> said. "It's not right, and it isn't going to stand."
> Performance Systems and several other companies have set up an alternative
> to NSFnet, known as a CIX. Mr. Schrader said his company and the venture of
> I.B.M. and MCI were competing for the same customers but unlike his rival
> he lacked a Federal subsidy. He said he might ask the Internal Revenue
> Service to look at the business relationship between Advanced Network's
> nonprofit and for-profit operations.
> *'Very Competitive Environment'*
> Allan Weis, the president of Advanced Network, disputed that his company
> had an unfair advantage. "It's a very competitive environment right now,"
> he said.
> At the National Science Foundation, Stephen Wolff, director of its
> networking division, said I.B.M. and MCI had overbuilt the network and were
> selling commercial service based on the excess capacity that was available.
> A number of organizations are working informally to settle the dispute.
> "I think it's a mess," said Mitchell D. Kapor, the founder of the Lotus
> Development Corporation and now head of the Electronic Frontier Foundation,
> a public-interest group focusing on public policy issues surrounding data
> networks. "Nobody should have an unfair advantage."
> On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 7:51 AM Miles Fidelman via Internet-history <
> internet-history at elists.isoc.org> wrote:
>>> 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
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