CFP'92 - Who Logs On?
Wednesday, March 18, 1992
Chair: Robert Lucky, AT&T Bell Laboratories
Panel: Linda Garcia, Office of Technology Assessment
Alfred Koeppe, New Jersey Bell
Brian Kahin, Harvard University
LUCKY: Thank you and welcome to the real session. I had the feeling coming in this afternoon that I am getting all too frequently these days in my old age asking, "What on earth am I doing here?" And you look around and say, "I don't belong here." Anyway, I am a technologist, and I have no idea who you are.
It's an unusual dynamic at a conference like this -- a mixture of many different interests and disciplines can sometimes turn out to be very interesting. I hope certainly that this one does, too. I admit that it is daunting when you come in and they are selling tapes of your talk when you don't know what you are going to say. It is a bit intimidating.
Anyway, the title of this session is "Who Logs On?" I have unsuccessfully looked for clues in the title and writeup as to what this session is about, but I suspect that it's going to be like a lot of this conference in that you will get a little bit of this and that, related to the theme of computers, privacy and that kind of thing, as interpreted by the different panelists. So I don't think that we should pay a lot of attention to the exact title of the sessions.
Now each of us is going to speak up to fifteen minutes devoted to the topic of "Who Logs On" -- that will be your challenge -- and then we will open it up for what should be a half hour of discussion. I don't think we will use the cards. We'll have a little live face-to-face stuff here and let you be on tape too, so don't worry about the cards.
Let me begin with a statement of my own ... a personal statement. It's always hard to be personal at these kinds of things. It always ends up where you get quoted in the newspapers that "an AT&T spokesman says," instead of what Bob Lucky says that he thinks, that no one else agrees with, but that is partly the way the world works.
Now I wrote down a lot of issues that, if I had the ear of this particular crowd, of who I think is out there, I would talk about for a time. Then I said, "Hey, I can't talk about all those things." I finally struck them all off and got down to three things. I'll just mention my three bullets and just barely introduce the subject, because I am sure there will be a lot of discussion about each one of these as the time goes on here.
The first one probably would not have been on my list, except for the fact that in the writeup for the session, it mentions fiber into the home. So I said, "I've got to say something about fiber into the home." The writeup says specifically, "High capacity optical fiber into the home is likely in the next decade, bringing a range of new services from video telephones to online shopping. ... Who will pay? Who will benefit? Here's a taste of the debate." I feel that at least one of my bullets has to live up to that.
If I can do a personal take on that, who pays for fiber in the home? Well, the consumer, who else is going to pay for it? Who benefits? The consumer also benefits. I don't think those are the questions, as far as I am concerned. The question is, How much benefit and how much cost? I don't think, without really getting quantitative on that, it's enough to wave your hands and say you're going to get online shopping and video telephones and stuff like that.
The fact is that you can get that with what you have now. You don't need a fiber for that. And if you are going to put the fiber in, then you need the wide-band switching infrastructure to support it. Then you've got the CATV people out there saying, "Hey, we're bringing the fiber to the home." You know it's coming from the CATV and on out. And they have an evolutionary plan to bring wide-band services. It's a very complex drama that's being played out there, very little of which, quite frankly, is technical. There's a lot of economics, a lot of politics, and my own position is if you go to sleep for 40 years, which I don't advise, then you will find that there is a fiber into your home because this is really the way it ought to be, as God laid it out. (laughter)
But the world does not always evolve the way that it should, and there is kind of a messy infrastructure out there. But I think that you really need to talk about what services -- what does the fiber bring you -- that you don't get from your copper wire and your CATV. This is a very awkward question and one which technologists like myself have been agonizing over for probably a decade. I think mainly that we come back to Say's Law. As I understand it, this says that "supply creates demand." It's also known as "the Field of Dreams approach." (laughter) If we build it, they will come. (laughter) And often, in fact, this is the way communications works. You build it, and they do come. It is certainly a subject that we can talk and argue about. And I do note that one of the panelists, Al Koeppe, from New Jersey Bell, is going to be talking about that. I apologize to him already for giving him a rough start, because it's awful when the moderator undercuts your talk before you even get up there. So, sorry about that and good luck, Al. (laughter)
Now, the second bullet -- so Al can get off the hot seat -- access and privacy. Now this is sort of a personal quandary that I've had for a long time. One of the things which is coming, that you all know about, is personal communications. We're going to get telephones that are really portable, light, and you can walk around and talk basically to the nearest telephone pole by radio. I'm serious about that -- to the nearest telephone pole. And as you walk down the street, one telephone pole will hand you over to another and everything will be done by radio. You'll have a personal telephone number so that anybody can call you, a person, rather than a place. All that's coming, the standards are coming into place, not the social but the economic dynamics are taking place out there. Now you will have, before too long, a Dick Tracy telephone on your wrist. And I really love the idea of being able to call anybody from my wrist. I hate the idea that anybody can call my wrist. (laughter)
Now, you can't have it both ways. There is no easy technological solution to this problem. You want access, but you want privacy. How can other people have access? And the problem with the telephone network today is that I don't think it works any more, basically because nobody's home. (laughter) I mean, when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, people were sitting around waiting for it to ring. (laughter) But now, there's nobody there. The value of the network is the ability to access a lot of people. And as people opt out of that, the value of the network to other people goes down. And yet, privacy in the sense of the right to be left alone -- that's an inalienable right, but it takes away from other people.
We have the beginnings of these kinds of arguments which are going to get a lot worse in terms of ANI, or the calling number identification which I have on my phone at work, and frankly, is no big deal. Like my secretary went to call somebody the other day -- she has all these telephones -- and she misdialed. A stranger answered so real quick she hung up. Then the phone rang. She picked it up, and the caller said, "My name is so-and-so, and you just called me and hung up." (laughter) She was so red that she couldn't work the rest of the day. She got caught in the act. (laughter) But, you know, again, part of your privacy is the ability to screen the incoming calls and decide who you're going to answer and who you're not going to answer. But you see how part of other people's privacy is invaded when that happens, for example, there are people with unlisted phone numbers which can be printed out there on the phone. Other people could use these to put together mailing lists, phone lists of people, from this number identification. Then again, it discourages people from reporting crimes because they want the anonymity. But on the other hand, if you have this, it discourages people from making harassing telephone calls. So it's a balance -- it's the Yin and the Yang. And how does sociology come down on that? There's no easy technological solution to that.
Now I want to mention -- I have to say this before I leave this podium -- an allied subject that came up about a week and a half ago that many of you may know about. The FBI in its infinite wisdom has recommended legislation that will require the telephone companies not to install equipment that does not permit wiretapping, and it will require the redesign of the present network in order to allow wiretapping. They propose that the cost of doing this -- which they estimate to be twenty cents per month -- be passed on to the subscribers, though I doubt they have taken into account the evolution of the network toward not only digitization, which they know about, but packetization. In turning the network totally over to packet communications, it's going to be hard to find the conversations. But the FBI is sponsoring legislation to require that those conversations be findable in an easy way to be wiretapped, and then they're going to let you pay for this.
Now, as an engineer, I view this -- I think the words are -- with grave concern (laughter and applause), which means, I think it's a bad idea. (laughter) I'll let you all debate that, so everybody should be aware of it, and aware of the basic rights on both sides. I'm all for getting the drug kings and all that sort of thing, but I'm all for my own privacy, too. I'm not sure how much I'm willing to pay, or how much the nation's infrastructure has to be curtailed, in order to allow that. The debate has to take place.
The final bullet, and I can't spend too long with it, is the national information infrastructure. We have a wonderful thing happening right now, and the problem with a conference like this is that we dwell too much on the negative aspects of things. But there are wonderful things happening out there. One of these wonderful things is Internet. The question of the session is, "Who Logs On?" and one of the answers is, "I log on." And I love what's happening out there -- a sense of tremendous freedom.
One of the things which is using up half the traffic in the Internet, is anonymous FTPs (File Transfer Protocols), where you can go and roam around computers in the country and get files from them as an anonymous user. For example, I'm into electronic music, and I found a number of computers around the country that have directories filled with electronic music that I can just go in and suck out. I can roam around -- it's a wonderful thing -- it's a beautiful thing. If you want to find out about this kind of stuff, there are not only programs that allow you to roam the country, but there are bulletin boards where you can find out about what's going on. It is so wonderful. It has been done by the academic community, and there's a sense of freedom about it. Freedom in two ways -- freedom of information and freedom of communication -- because one of the quirks of this thing is that nobody seems to pay for it. (laughter) So when I get a megabyte music file, tough! I don't know, it just comes, that's all, in a few seconds. (laughter) Not copyrighted music, you have to get dead composers. (laughter) Preferably dead Russian composers. (laughter) Because that's another aspect of this whole thing.
Now what I'm worried about is I think something beautiful has been created. As a member of AT&T and of the community that does telecommunications, this needs, in the long run, to be transitioned to a commercial enterprise. I'd really want to see the government out of running communications, which is what they're doing right now. (applause) Thank you. (boos) Okay, there are some boos. But, I want to see the government out of running communications. They don't belong in there; they're not good at this kind of thing. But I want to retain that freedom that I've got now -- I do not want to lose that as this becomes privatized, commercialized, as the intellectual property people get in there and build walls around things, as the lawyers get in there and decide what can and can't be done, as hackers get in there and screw it up for everyone else, as all... hey, I'm a hacker, too. But people when they transgress over a certain line mess it up for everyone else, and I really personally enjoy the freedom I have right now. I just hope that people won't cross that line that ruins it for everyone else.
Well, my time is up. My three points -- fiber in the home, cost/benefit I think is the issue; access and privacy, the issue I think is that you can't have both, and you're going to have to work out the sociology and acceptability of this; and finally, a wonderful thing, an Internet transitioning to NREN, the National Research and Education Network. We all can benefit from it if we don't mess it up.
So with that, let me turn it over to Linda Garcia of OTA, Office of Technology Assessment, and she now has her fifteen minutes of fame. (applause)
GARCIA: The problem of having Mr. Lucky lead off is that you walk into the room and he says, "You have fifteen minutes," then he says the most provocative things, and you know you want to talk for about an hour.
I'm going to focus a little bit on your cost-benefit question. I've been interested in the issue of access since I first came to the Communication Information Technologies Program at OTA. We started looking at it in our education study back in 1982, and we certainly looked at it in the intellectual property study, and finally in a study that we did called "Critical Connections: Communications for the Future." It seems to be a theme that weaves in and out of everything that we have done. Lastly, in the study, "Critical Connections: Communications for the Future," we laid out some reasons or factors why we thought that access was going to be a major concern.
I had the opportunity as a researcher to sort of prove myself wrong. Our worst case from "Critical Connections" was the issue of rural America. Recently, we've done a study called "Rural America at the Crossroads: Networking for the Future" in which we came up with a solution to the access problem, to the cost benefit problem. So what I'd like to do today in my 13 minutes and 47 seconds is to give you some of the reasons why we thought access would be a problem; why we thought rural would be the worst case; and then tell you how we were so clever as to get around the problem, looking at the very same issues and trends.
In the study "Critical Connections," what we tried to do was to identify technological trends that would affect the telecommunications infrastructure. We were given a very broad mandate to look across communications policies, to look at how technology was going to affect business, the individual, politics, culture, and to then identify from all of that what the federal government's role should be in the process of addressing communications policy needs. We came up with eight trends, and we came back to the same trends to look for a solution to the problem we identified. The trends are greatly improved performance that reduces cost, convergence, the decentralization of intelligence, the unbundling of communication services and products, portability, improved ease of use, increased networking capability, and increased targetability.
There's one point I would make: it is that what these two studies showed me, back to back, is how it isn't the technology at all that makes the difference, it's really the socioeconomic conditions in which that technology becomes deployed. Looking just at this and looking at the deregulatory environment, we came up with five factors that we thought would be significant in making access a problem.
In the short time, let me just tell you what the factors were. The first was a loss of subsidies both in terms of telephone services and in terms of media that come across the airwaves in broadcasting. In the area of deregulation, a lot of subsidies were going to go away with the tendency to increase the cost. In mass media, what you saw happening is a shift to pay-per-view television, cable price television, and you saw a decline of the three networks, so questions were raised about what kind of media would be in the home. We also identified, on the basis of the notion of unbundling, that there was going to be a major shift from the vendor to the user in the transaction costs of using systems. This would create an equity problem, since not everyone is equally capable of putting systems together. In fact, businesses are more and more using the knowledge and ability to be their own systems integrator to get a strategic market advantage. So we thought for the average user, for the average small business, for the poor community in a rural area this would be a severe problem.
Some of the other problems that we identified that aren't as relevant to the study in rural America had to do with increased mergers due to convergence of mass media, telecom, and IT technologies in businesses, as well as questions about what constitutes universal service and having to do with the First Amendment. We noted that a lot of companies were beginning to wrap themselves up in First Amendment concerns in order to in fact limit access, rather than to make it more available.
As we looked at these five trends, or concerns, it really looked like rural America would be the worst case. Subsidies were not just for short term or short distance, but the cost averaging that had provided rural areas with telecommunication services were being undone as well. And if you recently sat through the hearings as I did for the Rural Electrification Administration, you would see that there is a major effort to take away that kind of funding, too. So we thought when we were asked to look at how telecommunications was going to affect economic development in rural areas, that we would have a dismal story to tell. Instead, we looked at these same trends, and we picked up on at least two of them as of key importance. These were the notions of increased networking capabilities and the unbundling of services. What we did was to look at urban areas. We looked at business communities, and we said, look, if business can take its own parts of the system and put them together and create wide- area networks, metropolitan area networks, local area networks, why in heaven's name can't rural communities, using the same kind of modern telecommunications services that are really essentially made for sharing, why can't they create something that we call a rural area network, instead of building a network on a functional basis? I must say that the idea has taken off. I don't know whether it's because we can say there are LANs, MANs and WANs, and we now need RANs, but what we thought would be possible is to take all of the users in a rural community -- hospitals, educators, public service providers, small businesses -- and help them to pool their demand and in that way create a market that was viable for modern advanced telecommunication services. We were talking about broadband services to a rural community, not necessarily to the home.
What we saw as the role of government was as a broker. A lot of people in rural communities aren't system integrators and they really can't do this by themselves. We saw government playing the central role, pointing out to these people where they have a common interest in providing for technology transfer services, either through the Rural Electrification Administration, or the USDA through the Extension Service, and also in providing seed money to help get people to cooperate across institutional lines.
Probably the biggest inhibitor in doing these kinds of things is that we tend to regulate, or treat rural communities in the same way that we treat urban communities. Our regulatory framework is the same, and we really pointed out that just as you can unbundle the network, you can also rethink regulation in rural areas. We ask the question whether it is reasonable to use the same regulatory structure for lower Manhattan, which can support three telephone companies, as you might use in Aroostook County, Maine. And our conclusion, of course, was otherwise. In order to do this, one thing that needs to happen is that economic development people need to become active in telecommunications policy, and telecommunications policymakers at the state level need to begin to think more broadly about what constitutes the cost and what constitutes the benefit. In some cases, the state legislature prohibits them from thinking about health and educational services as a benefit to be calculated into their cost-benefit analysis.
There has to be a greater understanding that telecommunications serves more than just a consumer/ individual/residential need. For researchers to prove themselves wrong is really quite interesting, because they start out with one notion and work through it. To go back to the very same trends to find the answer really emphasizes that it isn't the technology, it's how it's put together and how it takes advantage of the conditions that researchers find where some creative solutions show up. (applause)
LUCKY: Thanks, Linda. In fact, you have left five minutes which can be used for questions at the end, or time for another speaker. I'd like to now introduce Al Koeppe, of New Jersey Bell.
KOEPPE: Thank you, Bob. I'm pleased to be here, despite Bob's earlier remarks. I must tell you that my understanding of the future is really no different than yours and no better. The day after St. Patrick's Day, I think our common predicament is much like a Pat and Mike story where Pat is providing advice to Mike. He says to Mike, "Life is like a ship and we are all passengers on it. Some of us have our deck chairs looking toward the front, and we look to the future. Some of us have our deck chairs looking toward the back and we look to the past." He says to Mike, "Where's your chair?" And Mike says, "I can't get it unfolded." (laughter)
It's difficult to speculate on what the future will bring, and what I would like to chat about today with you is what one state, New Jersey, has done to unfold its deck chairs and attempt to move forward into the information age.
This January, New Jersey enacted telecommunications legislation which recognizes that telecommunications has the potential for improving our state's economy and the quality of life for our citizens. Now, importantly for our purposes today, I think this legislature recognizes that regulation designed at the dawn of the 20th century is inapplicable to the dawn of the 21st century. There is a need for new wine and new flasks, to echo our earlier speaker.
Now the illustrative value of what happened in New Jersey, for our purposes today, I think is this. First, it is important to understand the underlying premise which gave rise to the legislation, the issues which were debated, and from my perspective, the critical importance of cooperation between New Jersey's stakeholders -- New Jersey Bell's competitors, regulators, legislators, and state leaders -- and New Jersey is probably not much different from your own home state.
There are opportunities in New Jersey, and there are also problems. New Jersey is home to some of the most influential seats of learning in the United States -- Princeton and Rutgers -- to name two. However, one out of every three 9th grade students in New Jersey is unable to complete reading, math, or science tests at 9th grade level. We have premier research laboratories -- like Bellcore and Bell Labs. They house some of the most sophisticated computer equipment in the world, operated by some of the most skilled scientists and technicians. However, in the state's central urban areas, less than 1% of the students have an opportunity to even use or to touch a computer during a school year. Our unemployment rate is low, but frankly, at New Jersey Bell, we have a difficult time filling two out of every ten fundamental applications. It is a problem -- I could continue -- but this is a pattern that is evident in our state. On the one hand, we have abundance, and on the other hand, we have significant challenges.
There was a belief that telecommunications technology can be part of that solution, and New Jersey stakeholders view telecommunications as a vehicle for bringing the state's two New Jerseys together.
On a broader scale, New Jersey's commitment to technology comes from a conviction that advanced telecommunications capabilities can be a prime factor in the state's ability to compete. We are a service industry state, not a manufacturing state. New Jersey's new Telecommunications Act, and the old act that was written in 1911, are based on a vision that technology has promise, that there is an opportunity here to shape law to meet technology, and it makes sense to create an opportunity to bring an advanced public telephone network to the state. The law does two principal things: it removes competitive services from regulatory oversight, and at the same time it removes the 1911 mandate for a rate-based rate of return for the remaining company services.
The second aspect of the bill is important for us, because it empowers New Jersey regulators to custom-tailor regulations as they see fit to address changes in technology and the structure of the industry. A little later I'll chat a little bit about where New Jersey Bell sees prudent alternative regulation and what that means in terms of the introduction of technology. But keep this in perspective as a compass heading -- the bill that I'm describing here is enabling in nature. It doesn't violate the first rule of wing-walking, which is, make sure you're hanging on somewhere else. It doesn't call for the acceleration of a modern infrastructure, but it provides the regulatory framework to move forward. The decision is left to the regulators; nevertheless, New Jersey Bell made it very clear that we were anxious to submit plans to regulators for technology development and alternative regulations once the legislation passed.
Now, knowing of this intent, the overarching public policy question was one that Bob raised, and that is whether it is possible to accelerate network modernization and still provide consumers with stable basic prices. Bob, that's the difficult challenge here, and that's Bob's earlier question: how much benefit and how much cost? Now the law itself directly addressed that. It said that any form of alternative regulation approved by regulators must continue public interest benefits such as the affordability of basic telephone services -- currently at $8 in New Jersey, the lowest in the United States. And importantly, the merits of an alternative regulation plan must be tested through the crucible of public hearings where those with contrary opinions -- and some of them spoke earlier in this room -- will be free to make their case. Then a body with specialized expertise, the Board, will determine what type of regulatory plan complements the technological plan which is best for New Jersey.
Let's look at this from New Jersey Bell's perspective. It's the Board's ability to consider complementary regulatory and technological plans -- something that it didn't have in the past, the ability to custom-tailor regulations -- which provides our company the incentive to move forward with such initiatives in the first place. Long-term ground rules are important if we're considering acceleration of modernization over a long period of time. And we are. Within the next few days, New Jersey Bell intends to take the first step toward an aggressive, fiber-optic, digitally-switched network modernization program in our state.
Next week, we'll introduce an alternative regulation plan that has the following fundamental characteristics -- let's talk about it for a second. Central to the plan -- because this was a hotly contested issue during the debate -- is the retention of our regulated service rates exactly where they are today, through 1995. Now those rates have been capped since 1985, so that's ten years of regulated service rates at their present levels -- rate stability for ten years. Beginning in 1996, rate adjustments will be based on a fraction of the consumer price index, limited to no more than 25 cents per year for basic exchange service. Now this gets again to Bob's point -- and it's a good one -- that there's a question here as to who will pay and what the cost is. The alternative regulation plan, which we see as a platform moving us toward the end of this century, is one which guarantees affordable prices for the ratepayers. That's important. From our perspective, it does give us confidence in the regulatory environment so that we can aggressively deploy network modernization, and the expenditure of about $1 billion in capital improvement between now and 1999 -- that's about 25% more than a business-as-usual plan would call for. It is our conviction -- and some would question whether it's the strength of our conviction, and they will undoubtedly -- that new services, new efficiencies, and new technologies will help us pay for the network. Not quite a field of dreams, because we are not talking about a bunch of dead ballplayers here, but we are looking to push the envelope of technology out as far as we can, keep our rates and prices as low as we can keep them, and push as much economic growth and benefits as we can into the state.
It's not all bad for us either, obviously. As we attract more information service providers to that network, we make money. The network development part of our plan is scheduled to begin this year. It's based on progressive accelerated investment in new switching and transmission technology to deliver new service capabilities. I'll quickly go through it. Currently our voice network only carries voice-band traffic, and includes voice and low-speed data reliably. Beginning in 1992, we propose to introduce narrowband digital service capability. This will serve as a vehicle for such services as low-quality video teleconferencing, high- speed facsimile, and medium-speed computer communications. This will be used by both residential and business customers who require voice, video, and data transmitted over a single telephone line. Business telecommuting applications would be an example here. Under this plan, almost 80% of New Jersey's customers will have access to ISDN by 1994, and 100% by 1998. Beginning in 1994, wideband digital service capability --this capability supports video on demand, the access to multiple centralized education and entertainment libraries with VCR characteristics. Distance learning applications would be an example of an application and a user for this service. The accelerated plan calls for 65% of New Jersey Bell's customers to have access to this capability by 1996, and 95% by 1999. Later this month, a school system in Hudson County, New Jersey will be using ADSL technology, which is digital service over copper loops, to access from a number of information service providers, educational libraries, on a multi-format basis -- video, data, and voice.
In 1996, assuming that it is cost-justified, broadband digital service capability will be introduced. As you all know in this room, this capability provides the ultimate interactive platform for information-age services in the 21st century. It requires that digital switches be equipped with the ability to switch video, and that's still in the preliminary stage. As I said earlier, we are pushing the technology and the technological development, and it requires that copper wires be replaced with fiber, at least to the pedestal, or pole, outside the customer's premise. It's an aggressive plan. It's a plan that we will share with the Board, it's a plan that will have checkpoints in it as we move forward. Our expectation and our hope is that by 1999, 35% of the network is equipped with broadband digital, with a goal of a complete fiber and digital network by the year 2010. These are aggressive goals, there's no question about it.
Certainly looking at it as a representative of the company, it required courage to step forward here with these goals at this time, and also with a reliance on the development of what we believe will be an information-service-provider-rich network. This will be a public network, not a private network. It will be available to all -- the legislation recently passed in New Jersey requires that. Of course, as a regulated common carrier, we have that obligation both under federal and state law. Cable TV companies, newspaper providers, education and health care providers have already expressed their interest in the network. We're working with cable companies, newspapers, and others to build this in a manner that provides the most ubiquitous and far-reaching information network we can.
We don't know how the future will develop, we don't know what the marketplace will bring, but we are unfolding our deck chairs here, and that's important at a time when rhetoric needs to stop and action needs to start. We believe that through these plans, we've created a forum for cooperation, certainly a forum for debate before our Public Utility Commission. Our expectation and our hope is that this will lead to cooperation. There's no one solution. There's no one company or group that has a key to the information age. I'm convinced, and we're convinced, that cooperation is the key to working forward into the 21st century. There was a great deal of support for New Jersey's telecommunications legislation, and it passed by an overwhelming mandate. That mandate didn't expressly recognize New Jersey Bell as a sole provider of that service. What it said was, "We believe in technology. We believe in creating that opportunity." That's a burden we believe that we now have to deliver on. We expect to build this network over the next 20 years, and expect that we will have some interesting times debating it. My fond hope is that we don't discover that we have an inter- industry hair-pulling contest over the next 18 years.
It's been very enjoyable chatting with you today -- thank you for your attention. (applause)
LUCKY: Thanks, Alfred. Now I would like to introduce Brian Kahin from Harvard, which we know as a neutral institution. Encompassing all of wisdom, however.
KAHIN: That's right. I'm going to talk about the Internet, how it's developing, and some of the larger policy issues raised around who gets access to it and how access and equity within the system work. The level playing field.
Insert Figure 2-1
Caption: "Figure 2-1."
First off, just a nice graphic showing one way to look at the growth of the Internet over the last three years (Figure 2- 1). The number of registered hosts in the domain naming system --as you can see, just on this basis alone, there has been a sevenfold increase. The scale there is thousands of hosts --100,000 to about 700,000.
What kind of access are we talking about when we ask who logs on? It's very important to think about this first in terms of functionality. If you are just talking about E-mail, then that's a different kind of access than having the full Internet functionality of FTP and Telenet, and what other protocols may come along. Speed of access: What is the weakest link in your chain? Is it in your modem, a 2400 baud, or is it the line, the last leg in from the Internet itself at 56 kilobits? What can you do on T-1 that you can't do with 56 kilobits? Storage capacity, and whether the storage is remote or on a machine somewhere else, or it's on your own machine, so when you FTP you have to pull something down from another machine. Whether your access is dialup or dedicated. Whether you have, in fact, your own Internet address or whether you're accessing through somebody else's machine and you only have a user account on that machine.
And again, we'll discuss whether you have access to the full Internet or only E-mail access. If you have E-mail access, then you have E-mail access to the whole thing. But if you're concerned about the FTP or Telenet, you may be on one end of it or another, the commercial or noncommercial end, and may not be able to reach the other side.
And at what cost? This is the way the costs typically break down -- if you are joining one of the regional nonprofit networks, there'll be a membership fee, typically a service fee in addition to the membership fee, lease-line or dialup costs which are paid to the telephone company. In some cases, there are hourly charges (generally not if you are paying for any one of the above things, but there are hourly alternatives). There are usually installation fees, especially if you are attaching a network onto the Internet, because you need to configure it to give yourself a proper network address. There is the cost of local equipment, and most of all, support, which is often the big element, especially for small users who don't have expertise in-house. As TCP/IP technologies become commercialized, this cost has diminished to some extent as the software that supports network access becomes more sophisticated and ubiquitous. Finally, there can be costs associated with remote storage.
Insert Figure 2-2
Caption: "Figure 2-2."
This is a very subjective view of the hotbeds of networking in the United States (Figure 2-2). As you can see, California has a lot of cross-hatching. I'm going to give you some examples of those competitive services in California. One thing that is particularly interesting that there are four regional networks within California. Most areas of the country only have one, but there are four competing within the state of California, plus commercial network providers.
California has a very interesting service called Netcom. It's a host machine which has become a network; it's available through a local phone call in most California metropolitan areas; it has access to the commercial Internet exchange through BARRNet. It's not a member directly, but it accesses the commercial Internet exchange through a member of the commercial Internet exchange. This is a phenomenon that you see a lot of in networks on the noncommercial side as well; although from some perspectives it looks like a 3-tier network, it can be any number of tiers. Networks hide behind networks. You get 5 megs of storage free and these are the flat monthly fees. A dialup SLIP connection, that's a dedicated dialup board, or through a leased line is $160 a month and without a dedicated board SLIP connection is $50 a month. SLIP means you've got your own Internet address. When you're connected, that means that you can FTP directly into your own machine rather than going through a remote host. A dial-up account on a Netcom host is only $17.50 a month for unlimited use.
There's another machine in Boston that's a host machine which offers similar connectivity, all you can use connectivity, FTP, full-functionality, but only accessing the commercial side of the Internet. It's called the World. $20 a month buys you 20 hours of connect time, and it's $1 a connect hour in addition. When you compare that to rates that are charged for Telenet -- Telenet's now SprintNet -- or Tymnet, it's almost an order of magnitude difference.
Another service is offered in California for libraries only -- members of CLASS, a library organization -- an arrangement with CERFnet with full unrestricted Internet access, both sides, no storage or startup fees, dialup SLIP, $150 per year plus $4.50 an hour, and that's per password, that annual fee. It can be made available to the public, if your library wants to so as a public service.
Now I want to shift and talk about the theoretical context and the debate that's going on over the future of the NREN. Typically, people look at it as the debate between capacity and connectivity between a high-end NREN and a low-end NREN -- low end focusing on more connectivity bringing more users onto the Internet. Connectivity also means bringing more network resources onto the Internet. Anyway, that's opposed to capacity, which means the larger your connections, the more higher end applications -- like remote visualization -- you can enable. So you can see, it's designed for scientists and researchers that are doing very special things. But the greater capacity also enables greater connectivity because of the basic packet switch technology. All these bits share a common channel.
There's really a third dimension, and that's functionality. It doesn't get brought into the debate so much. Just as capacity is measured by bandwidth, connectivity is measured by the number of networks, hosts, or users that are connected. Functionality is measured by hardware and software, which is both high-end -- what kind of super- computers are on -- and low-end -- what kind of functionalities and PCs are on. It's also the sophistication of the software that's on those machines.
Insert Figure 2-3
Caption: "Figure 2-3."
And what this really means is that all these things work together to enable broader use of networking. This is just an example of how these elements work together to enable moving from text access to text delivery to image access and image delivery, which requires greater and greater infrastructure (Figure 2-3).
Insert Figure 2-4
Caption: "Figure 2-4."
These elements also have very peculiar economics. They all sort of work together with an enormous leveraging effect. The bandwidth -- there is enormous capacity, there is enormous economy of scale at least at the backbone level, at least up to the point where the technology becomes truly experimental, and there are extra costs associated with that. In connectivity you have the phenomenon called network externalities. Up to a point, the more people you add to the network, the more valuable it becomes for all who are already on it. There are also long-term scale economies as the market grows, and in the cost of connecting, as you see particularly in the decreasing installation fees associated with the slip connections. On the functionality side, we have software, which is a classic public good in the sense that the marginal cost of reproducing is zero and it's difficult to exclude people who don't pay from making use of it. In hardware, we have excess capacity, MIPS are free. Your PC is sitting unused for most of its cycles. We no longer sell cycles on computers. So you have the promise of massive parallel processing, internetworking a lot of computers working on a single task.
The backbone is structured in the classic three-tier network: the NSFNET backbone, the midlevel networks, and the campus networks. The NSFNET backbone is funded directly by NSF, which has also funded some of the midlevel networks and provides for one-time connections as we will discuss in a minute. We also have state networks so that there is actual state funding coming in here from the side. The only place where money changes hands is at this bottom level, because the backbone is provided free to these midlevel networks, as long as it falls under the acceptable use policy.
So we have the NSFNET backbone which benefits all sponsored networks -- and sponsored means that they are permitted to attach to use the backbone for research and education. This includes the commercial Internet providers. The midlevel networks get competitive grants on a competitive basis. Only half of them probably now are getting federal funding, but NSF has not required them to subscribe to the acceptable use policy for the backbone. They are free to set their own acceptable use policy. Connections have been intermittently funded which enable higher educational institutions to get on with one-time grants of $25,000. About a year and a half ago, IBM, MCI, and MERIT formed a private nonprofit organization called Advanced Network and Services. This is a 501c(3) operation to essentially privatize the backbone so that instead of operating the backbone for NSF under a cooperative agreement, it became a contract for backbone services that were being provided by a larger entity that had excess capacity to resell as it wished. ANS also competed to some extent with midlevel networks by retailing T1 connections. And a little bit later, about nine months ago, it set up a for-profit subsidiary. Now while ANS was limited to the kinds of services a 501c(3) charitable organization could provide, a subsidiary was not so limited. In fact, it could offer any kind of commercial service.
At the same time, the smaller commercial Internet providers -- ALTERNET, PSI, CERFnet -- set up a commercial Internet exchange. What we have here are two competing models for commercialization and privatization of the Internet defined in this way: ANS and CO+RE, its commercial subsidiary, are sort of an integrated concept -- a backbone network, a private organization with a for-profit subsidiary, an entirely-owned for-profit subsidiary so that the profits are supposed to go back up to serve the nonprofit purposes. It's focused on a high-end technology, and the idea is that the end users of this high-end technology will pay average costs, unsubsidized by NSF, and that this average cost can in turn subsidize the research and education components of the infrastructure. So it's sort of an internal cross-subsidy, if you look at this whole, and it has the cooperative agreement to provide the NSFNET backbone. The commercial Internet exchange is an exchange administered by a trade association. The connections to it are all T1, established commercialized technology. It's an agreement to interconnect without any settlements, without any money changing hands. Although its members, as I said before, can use the NSFNET backbone if they agree to the NSF acceptable use policy.
Now, because of controversy about whether that cooperative agreement gives ANS a particular advantage in the commercial marketplace, the new NSF project plan is doing a number of different things. First of all, there's going to be a separate award for a routing authority. It's going to ask for proposals for national connectivity, rather than backbone services, so it doesn't presume that connectivity is provided through backbone. And it says that there will be at least two awards for these services. So it's like FTS-2000 -- some of you know what that is. But it says that there are going to be at least two awards and in the meantime, there's going to be an 18-month extension of the current agreement. That last point is perhaps a little more controversial -- some people feel that it could have been moved along faster. Now, having two awards could mean that each of those models could be implemented to some degree. There's just a lot of very difficult, unresolved questions on how something like that can work as a whole. But the two sides are still not connected to each other, so we have this specter of a Balkanized Internet, which was the subject of hearings held by the House last week.
That's it. I just got these slides an hour or so ahead of time, so I apologize for the fragmentation. (applause)
LUCKY: And so it was. Okay, I think you've had a taste of probably what the rest of the conference will be like, because it's a little bit of this and a little bit of that. We've heard about rural connections, we've heard about the seething mass that's happening in Internet right now which is quite a thing, and we've heard about New Jersey's plans for telecommunications utopia -- and I didn't mean to make a joke out of that.
I'd now like to open the floor for questions, and again, if you could give your name and affiliation so that the guilty can be caught later and stuff like that, I'd appreciate it. So we have mikes and all that, so let's start over here on the left with you. And it could be to any of us, or just to the air in general.
JAMES OLDS: My name is James Olds, and I'm from the National Institutes of Health, and I have a question for Professor Kahin. What's your opinion about the Balkanization of the Internet, considering that on an international level, with full FTP Telnet connectivity from the Soviet Union to Singapore in existence right now, it's already effectively Balkanized?
KAHIN: Well, you want to have it as little Balkanized as possible. Balkanization is perhaps the wrong term, but it's creating tremendous administrative problems on the one hand, because as soon as they move beyond exchanging mail, they want to be able to access all the resources, and it's a very complex administrative situation. We have to start explaining that to people. You start burning up a lot of energy. But you also diminish the scope of the market by dividing it into two separate halves. I don't believe there is FTP access to the Soviet Union -- I'm sure I would have heard...
UNKNOWN (interruption): Excuse me, I agree with you.
KAHIN: I think the latest map that I remember that just came out also does not show FTP connectivity to the Soviet Union.
OLDS: So let's say FTP from Finland. (laughter)
KAHIN: Well, it's always a problem, because you've got these autonomous networks that are all autonomous, and that's a fact of the Internet. You just have to fix that as best you can, where you can.
LUCKY: We have to move on -- I think he doesn't like this. Yes?
RICHARD NEUMEISTER: My name is Richard Neumeister, I'm from St. Paul, Minnesota, and I have three specific questions to each of the individuals. One is to the gentleman from New Jersey Bell (Koeppe). At least myself and some other privacy lobbyists, citizens, whatever, feel that New Jersey Bell has done a lot of things with Caller ID, but we are not here for this discussion. The item here is that you talked about your plan and telecommunications, so I'm curious to know whether or not you had a privacy impact, or privacy interest when you developed this telecommunication issue, and how you address that. To the gentleman from Harvard (Kahin), what is the negative social cost in regard to all these computer-type things, the issues of privacy, those kinds of things? And then, to the person from the OTA (Garcia), the OTA was very much responsible for a lot of research that helped with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act in 1986. I'm curious to know whether or not you might think, based upon all these computers and all, that has to be revisited again.
LUCKY: Okay, let's give three short answers, if possible, starting with you.
KOEPPE: That's an issue that came up in the legislative debate -- the privacy implications in the development of the network and what the Board of Public Utility Commissioners in New Jersey has asked is that an interindustry panel be formed to address it.
KAHIN: I haven't seen any complaints about privacy per se. The thing that people complain most about is unsolicited mail and broadcast mailings, especially broadcast mailings to lists of lists.
GARCIA: We are revisiting the privacy issue. We are beginning a study that looks at privacy in health records, and that will probably be a basis for a larger study on privacy in new technologies.
LUCKY: Okay, thank you for your concise answers. Now let's move over to the right-hand side.
GARY MARX: I want to follow up on the question to Alfred. I was excited by his enthusiasm and his vision of the future. Some call it utopian, some might call it dystopian. My name is Gary Marx of MIT; excuse me for not speaking up. The question is: you spoke about cost, and that's appropriate in a corporate environment, appropriate perhaps in a different way for regulated monopoly. My question is, What role does consideration of social costs and of risks play within the internal decision-making at New Jersey Bell, and to what extent might that have been affected by the nationwide controversy over Caller ID?
KOEPPE: Two separate questions, I take it. As you know, Caller ID in New Jersey is unrestricted, and it's been that way for the last four years or so, I believe, both as a trial and as a substantive offering. It's an interesting laboratory for us. As you know, we were the first state to introduce it, the first company to introduce it in the nation. A little bit, we were on the crest of the wave, before it became a more contentious issue. What our experience has been in New Jersey is that Caller ID has been a success, in terms of...
MARX: That wasn't the question that I asked you, really.
KOEPPE: I guess I missed your question.
MARX: Riding on the crest of the wave some people might see a crevice of an earthquake, but that's a separate issue. But I wondered, in the national response to Caller ID in which it was quite controversial, a number of important critical questions were raised. Did that experience affect the internal discussions within your company?
KOEPPE: Of course they did.
MARX: In what ways specifically? Are there institutionalized mechanisms now to try to take into account this broader set of costs that are social and not simply economic? I guess that's the thrust.
KOEPPE: Okay, I understand your question better. Let me respond to tell you that our Board of Public Utilities endorsed Caller ID long before the national debate started. After the national debate took place, not only the company, but the regulator as well, looked hard at whether there should be modifications in New Jersey's (not New Jersey Bell's) policy on Caller ID. It found it not to be the case, not to be a necessary and prudent change at this time. They're looking at it every year. We provide reports to the Board every year. Do they take into account what's going on at the national level? Yes, they do. Do they take into account more what goes on in New Jersey? I think that probably has a more persuasive element to it than the national scene.
MARX: Do you mean to say that as a sociologist I take into account how people get appointed to the kinds of boards that do those reviews that you mentioned? That's also an interesting question. Thank you.
KOEPPE: So do we. (laughter)
LUCKY: Let's go to the other side of the room to take the next question.
ROSS STAPLETON: Ross Stapleton, Central Intelligence Agency. I have to rebut my NIH colleague's claim about FTP as well. I would know, being the person who follows the networks for the CIA.
I would like to address a question to Dr. Kahin about functionality and how I would define functionality, and say that there is a lot missing in the Internet, which is this wonderful pile of resources with a lot of incoherence. And like this room was a big empty place with a lot of wires and lights 24 hours ago, there's a lot to be said not for technologies, but for coherence. I look at networking and communications worldwide, and we've got indeed -- I can send E-mail to Novosibirsk tomorrow, but lacking electronic mail white pages, lacking policies, coherence, and an idea that one should do that sort of a thing, those sorts of things don't get done.
We're obviously willing -- I wrote a piece for IEEE Computer in May saying, "Here's a foreign policy tool for you." But I'd hesitate to rush government out of the picture, either domestically or internationally, in making these things more than a pile of resources, but actually something that one should do. If there hadn't been an FTP, someone would have had to build one so we would have that functionality. I think there's a long way to go on establishing the laws of the road, something you can't hope that Congress would come up with spontaneously. Someone needs to define it. Wouldn't you include that as part of the functionality?
KAHIN: Well, you're covering a lot of territory there. First let me say that I think the electronic white pages people talk about it a lot, but I think it's an overrated issue, because you have the same problem with fax basically. There's no general accessible directory of fax numbers for your metropole, and we have learned to live with it. I think on the functionality, yes, there is a lot to be done there. It's sort of a puzzlement to me why NSF has not done more. It does raise some sensitive issues about procurement of software for public purpose. It is the one area where some scientists suggest that the Europeans are ahead of us, or that the interface to the Internet is dismally primitive and cumbersome, and FTP is a prime example.
LUCKY: Let's move to the center.
STEVE CISLER: Steve Cisler, Apple Computer Library. This is for the man from New Jersey Bell. What does New Jersey Bell see as the economic model for a phone company to provide broad-band video services to a user base that's used to paying POTS rates?
KOEPPE: That's implicit in the plan I described. What we'd like to do is introduce the service without increasing basic exchange rates, keeping the rates stable. I think if you look at it over the next ten years, that's a pretty clear horizon, and it's also part of the plan that we came forward with -- the alternative regulation plan that caps, or freezes, the rates where they are now. Implicitly what that says is that our view is that new technologies, new services, new efficiencies are going to pay for that network. That's a risky proposition that requires, you know, having some confidence and faith that those entrepreneurs will offer their services and frankly that we'll offer them.
CISLER: Well, maybe you'll clarify: Does that mean that you'll get video services at the same rate as voiceband?
KOEPPE: Yes, that's absolutely right.
CISLER: Or you can get a movie on demand for about what you would pay at a local video store?
KOEPPE: Well, hopefully it will be more competitive. We won't be offering the video service, but whoever the provider is, if they're smart, they'll be more competitive.
LUCKY: I have to say, as an anonymous onlooker here, that I have never seen a study of how one provides video on demand on any kind of kind of economic basis at all, never. I mean everyone looks at how you do it with communications, but no one, it seems to me -- Can you picture a rack of hundred VCRs with people running around looking like Charlie Chaplin slipping in tapes and stuff? -- could actually provide this service at a cost which is at all competitive with what other video stores are doing right now? Well, I just have never seen it. That doesn't say that it does not exist.
KOEPPE: We haven't seen it either.
CISLER: Well, when information is provided, I assume that we will try it.
LUCKY: Can we move over to the right-hand side?
SIMSON GARFINKEL: I'm Simson Garfinkel from NeXTWORLD magazine. Aren't you guys sort of losing touch with who the consumers are? This is primarily for Mr. Lucky when you talk about bringing fiber to the house. Lots of people don't even have touchtone. In the techie community we tend to lose sight of the fact that most people out there don't have computers in their houses, and don't really want computers in their houses. You talk about bringing fiber to the home -- and most of the people are happy with the analog instruments that they have and don't even want ISDN. They don't even know what ISDN is, and they don't want to know what ISDN is. (laughter)
LUCKY: Well, it stands for "I STILL DON'T KNOW!" (laughter)
GARFINKEL: Look at the next NeXTWORLD, I do all the acronyms. These people care about having one phone number which will get them both at home and at work, and they really don't want that. You joke about it, but then you guys talk about how it's coming, and they don't like that. So I'm really confused about who you are bringing fiber to the home for. I am also confused about who is best suited for bringing fiber to the home. I am not sure that it really is the charter of the telephone company to be doing that. I'm not sure that it is the charter for the cable company to be doing that, but if the telephone company is a regulated industry and it's not in the interest or desire of most subscribers, then maybe it's something better not done by the monopoly, but by competitive industry.
And lastly, a related question is, how come it costs so much money for me to get a personal Internet connection when I have a friend who lives just four blocks away who is not affiliated, but has an Internet connection through a major university (Cambridge) -- he doesn't pay anything but a local phone call (which he leaves open all the time)? One of the things that we have done is basically created a society of elites; and it seems like much of the discussion this past hour is how we can make things better for our elite, and how we can make some services available to those who aren't in the elite and bring them in. But it doesn't seem very democratic -- it seems that there's still a lot of "get what you can."
LUCKY: First, since you did address part of that to me, I think that you did put something into my remarks that I didn't mean to be there, in that I didn't come here to push fiber to the home. And I raised the question of the cost- benefit ratio in doing that, and I think it includes the kind of considerations that you bring up. The question is what do you get for it, and what ultimately do you pay for it. I think those issues have to be gone over. I am not prejudging, but I think to say that we are looking solely at the elite... You heard one talk about the rural connection here and the possibility of RANs, she said, which I have never heard before, Rural Area Networks. So I hope that through the whole community here we are addressing all the issues, so I don't think even in Brian's talk, when he talked about what is NREN ... It started out as gigabits for the elite and it's ending up perhaps as kilobits for the masses. I think that you are seeing a downward evolution in the pyramid from the elite down to getting better connectivity, as Brian said, for more people at lower rates, rather than gigabits for the ten leading research institutions. Linda, you wanted to make a comment?
GARCIA: Yes, I have a question for he questioner. There seems to be some kind of contradiction in your comment. On the one hand you say, why do we need anything in the home, and on the other hand you are saying, why aren't you worrying about me? There seems to be a little schizophrenia here.
GARFINKEL: No, no. I am a member of the elite, like everybody else in this room. I want kilobits for everyone.
LUCKY: We're going to fix this by cutting you off. (laughter) Sorry, not literally. Thank you for your statement. I'm going to move back over to this side.
LARRY HUNTER: My name's Larry Hunter, I'm with the National Library of Medicine. I think this is a broader question, and it is intended for Ms. Garcia. You raised questions of access that clearly touched on geography, but there are a lot of other distinctions in access that might matter. In particular, I'd like to know what role you see for the government, given that you are sort of representing private sector folks, for ensuring access to electronic communication technologies and other technologies that we are talking about here across barriers of class, race, language, and all the other acknowledged barriers that exist in the United States.
GARCIA: Do I have my fifteen minutes, or do I have to answer that concisely? (laughter) I think one of the things I learned from doing the rural study is we had laid out in our "Critical Connections" a series of strategies and options for delivering access, and I recommend your looking at it. One of the things I learned from doing the rural study is that you need to look situationally to find a creative answer. In that case, I felt the role of government was to overcome some market failures that had to do with people not understanding how they were interconnected socially and institutionally. And by bringing the institutions together there wouldn't be a problem, because it's a financially viable proposition. If you asked me to go look at the inner city schools to look at bilingual kinds of things, I'd be glad to. You just have to get a Congressman to ask us to do the study.
LUCKY: So maybe you could do that. Let's take a question on the other side of the room, please.
GLENN TENNEY: My name is Glenn Tenney from San Mateo, California. I have a follow-on to both those questions. I think we can accept that the idea of ubiquitous network computing, or fiber, or ISDN -- whatever you want to call it -- to the home, to schools as a good thing for the future, based on that as an assumption. I am a Congressional candidate, and I would like to know specifically from all four of you: besides Congress getting out of the way, what could Congress do to help achieve this specifically?
GARCIA: I recommend "Critical Connections," because if we have one thing to say, we should have a vision of what you think the role of communications is in the future. It almost doesn't matter what you do...for God's sake, do something! When we were doing that study, and that was four years ago, people said to me, "Why do you bother doing a study that looks at the role of Congress? You know they won't do anything." We used to say, "Well, we are existentialists, we have to operate on the assumption that they might." (laughter) In fact, I was told by a Congressional staffer about a month ago, "Don't expect anything for the next three years. We have elections for the next year, then we have a new administration, then everybody's going to sort everything out." So I can't give you any answers. I think they should have a little courage.
KAHIN: I can give you one quick specific suggestion. I think the Library Services Program should be changed from an entitlement block grant program, which is on the scale of $100 million a year, to be directed competitively toward multi-state, cooperative networking and resource sharing activities. The library community won't like that, but that's my suggestion.
LUCKY: Al, do you have a suggestion?
KOEPPE: I think the only advice I give is to understand the issues and not react viscerally to what appears to be a convenient solution for the day. Look for the free enterprising incentives, putting them into business, as much as possible.
LUCKY: And for myself, I guess I don't have a recommendation, but I have a thank-you and an example. And that is Senator Gore's championing of a vision for telecommunications in the country. I think that he and the Congressional administration action that followed created a wonderful thing. Even though it is being redefined to the goal, this is a unique thing, because you don't expect a technological vision to be coming from Congress. Yet it did, and it made a big difference in our world. Also, since we tore the telecommunications infrastructure apart organizationally in this country in 1984, certain things work and certain things don't work. One of the things that doesn't work too well is that there isn't a real forum often where people get together and agree on things. That's another thing that the whole NREN has given us -- the neutral forum to get together and discuss these kinds of issues. I think government should take a more proactive role in standard setting, which really runs telecommunications today. I think that the United States has been weak in the position of standards vis-a-vis Europeans who are much more active and understand that. And government has taken a pretty passive role now. I think that's one place they could help. Let's go over there now -- you ran from there to there, didn't you?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: John (unintelligible) from (unintelligible). For Linda and for Bob. It seems to me that the move toward privatization may hurt in some areas. At a recent CPSR roundtable, it was pointed out that of 26 Indian colleges in the United States, only one of them has Internet access. As an ethnic pressure group, it would seem that they could bring more pressure on a government-funded installation than other groups would be able to, as we move toward a privatization of the backbone. How do you see that shaking out?
GARCIA: I am probably the only Neanderthal left in the world who still can't figure out why we ever had divestiture. I suspect that the privatization issue is a very important issue in the NREN. I am surprised and I would have asked Brian why is it that some of the questions about access and financing weren't asked six months ago. If I looked at NREN's evolution, I would say that the reason is: it is a wonderful vision that Mr. Gore has, and it doesn't surprise me that it comes out of the Science Committee and not the Telecommunications Committee. But early on, OTA was looking at NREN, and we called a number of people in the telephone companies. We called people in the FCC and we called the people in telecommunications and said, "What do you think about this telecommunications policy?" And they said, "This isn't telecommunications policy, this is science policy." I think the reason we looked to NREN is because it provides us with an alternative to a sort of stale way of thinking about the world. I worry that as it becomes privatized, it's going to become a replication of everything that we have seen with the public switch telephone network. It's not a way to get out of the problem, to let it evolve that way.
LUCKY: We have one gentleman waiting and I'm out of time. I will take a quick question.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I guess I want to address my comments to you. I think that a lot of the problems that we face come from using old paradigms for how telephones and networks are going to be used. I, for example, would like everyone to ask themselves, why is Caller ID a controversial item when in electronic mail, no one even thinks of the concept of anonymous electronic mail, or call blocking, as you might call it for electronic mail? Why are we so upset about the phone on our wrist? Is it perhaps because we're thinking that people could interrupt us at any time? Or aren't there new paradigms like priority phone calls we might use to deal with those issues?
LUCKY: I think what I need in life is a generalized D key. It deletes everything. If I could have that, it would take care of a lot of things. I'll just take your observation as a comment. Thank you very much. And I'd like to thank all the panelists for not only their talks, but for their concise answers. And I'd like to thank the audience for their great questions. (applause)
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