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Building the open road: The NREN as test-bed for the national public network (RFC1259)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000002076D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Document File: 19 page(s) / 58K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

M. Kapor: AUTHOR

Abstract

A debate has begun about the future of America's communications infrastructure. At stake is the future of the web of information links organically evolving from computer and telephone systems. By the end of the next decade, these links will connect nearly all homes and businesses in the U.S. They will serve as the main channels for commerce, learning, education, and entertainment in our society. The new information infrastructure will not be created in a single step: neither by a massive infusion of public funds, nor with the private capital of a few tycoons, such as those who built the railroads. Rather the national, public broadband digital network will emerge from the "convergence" of the public telephone network, the cable television distribution system, and other networks such as the Internet.

This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 5% of the total text.

Network Working Group M. Kapor

Request for Comments: 1259 Electronic Frontier Foundation

September 1991

Building The Open Road:

The NREN As Test-Bed For The National Public Network

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does

not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is

unlimited.

Introduction

A debate has begun about the future of America's communications

infrastructure. At stake is the future of the web of information

links organically evolving from computer and telephone systems. By

the end of the next decade, these links will connect nearly all homes

and businesses in the U.S. They will serve as the main channels for

commerce, learning, education, and entertainment in our society. The

new information infrastructure will not be created in a single step:

neither by a massive infusion of public funds, nor with the private

capital of a few tycoons, such as those who built the railroads.

Rather the national, public broadband digital network will emerge

from the "convergence" of the public telephone network, the cable

television distribution system, and other networks such as the

Internet.

The United States Congress is now taking a critical step toward what

I call the National Public Network, with its authorization of the

National Research and Education Network (NREN, pronounced "en-ren").

Not only will the NREN meet the computer and communication needs of

scientists, researchers, and educators, but also, if properly

implemented, it could demonstrate how a broadband network can be used

in the future. As policy makers debate the role of the public

telephone and other existing information networks in the nation's

information infrastructure, the NREN can serve as a working test-bed

for new technologies, applications, and governing policies that will

ultimately shape the larger national network. Congress has indicated

its intention that the NREN

would provide American researchers and educators with the computer

and information resources they need, while demonstrating how

advanced computer, high speed networks, and electronic databases

can improve the national information infrastructure for use by all

Americans. (1)

As currently envisioned, the NREN

would connect more than one million people at more than one

thousand colleges, universities, laboratories, and hospitals

throughout the country, giving them access to computing power and

information -- resources unavailable anywhere today -- and making

possible the rapid proliferation of a truly nationwide, ubiquitous

network... (2)

The combined demand of these users would develop innovative new

services and further stimulate demand for existing network

applications. Library informat...