The Internet is for Everyone (RFC3271)
Original Publication Date: 2002-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Apr-25
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This document expresses the Internet Society's ideology that the Internet really is for everyone. However, it will only be such if we make it so.
Network Working Group V. Cerf
Request for Comments: 3271 Internet Society
Category: Informational April 2002
The Internet is for Everyone
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002). All Rights Reserved.
This document expresses the Internet Society's ideology that the
Internet really is for everyone. However, it will only be such if
we make it so.
1. The Internet is for everyone
How easy to say - how hard to achieve!
How have we progressed towards this noble goal?
The Internet is in its 14th year of annual doubling since 1988.
There are over 150 million hosts on the Internet and an estimated 513
million users, world wide.
By 2006, the global Internet is likely to exceed the size of the
global telephone network, if it has not already become the telephone
network by virtue of IP telephony. Moreover, as many as 1.5 billion
Internet-enabled appliances will have joined traditional servers,
desk tops and laptops as part of the Internet family. Pagers, cell
phones and personal digital assistants may well have merged to become
the new telecommunications tools of the next decade. But even at the
scale of the telephone system, it is sobering to realize that only
half of the Earth's population has ever made a telephone call.
It is estimated that commerce on the network will reach somewhere
between $1.8T and $3.2T by 2003. That is only two years from now
(but a long career in Internet years).
Cerf Informational [Page 1]
RFC 3271 The Internet is for Everyone April 2002
The number of Internet users will likely reach over 1000 million by
the end of the year 2005, but that is only about 16% of the world's
population. By 2047 the world's population may reach about 11
billion. If only 25% of the then world's population is on the
Internet, that will be nearly 3 billion users.
As high bandwidth access becomes the norm through digital subscriber
loops, cable modems and digital terrestrial and satellite radio
links, the convergence of media available on the Internet will become
obvious. Television, radio, telephony and the traditional print
media will find counterparts on the Internet - and will be changed in
profound ways by the presence of software that transforms the one-way
media into interactive resources, shareable by many.
The Internet is proving to be one of the most powerful amplifiers of
speech ever invented. It offers a global megaphone for voices that
might otherwise be heard only feebly, if at all. It invites and
facilitates multiple points of view and dialog in ways
unimplementable by the traditional, one-way, mass media.
The Internet can facilitate democratic practices in unexpected ways.
Did you know that proxy voting for stock shareholders is now commonly
supported on the Internet? Perhaps we can find additional ways in
which to simplify and expand the v...