We Need A Plan
Monday, February 10, 1997 by Dave Winer.
Remember the Information Superhighway?
A few years back, before the Internet started burning, fed by standards that weren't owned by anyone; before there was an issue of censorship of electronic media; way back before anyone was thinking much about home-based servers with full-time net connections -- U.S. political leaders focused our attention on something called the Information Superhighway.
It was right on, a little Norman Rockwellish perhaps, but still a good idea.
Now a few years later, America OnLine is living the nightmare -- we don't have a plan, the superhighway has been turned over to private industry, there is no public policy, and we're drifting.
Here's the goal -- provide inexpensive reliable full-time net connections to most homes and businesses in the United States. Let the Internet reach all the places the Interstate highway system reaches. It won't go everywhere, but if you live or work near a big node, having a web server running in your family room or den shouldn't cost more than a phone line.
I believe it's economically and technologically realistic to set this goal for two years from now. There's demand. The software is ready. Computers are cheap. New systems, new industries, can be created around such an initiative.
Let's do it!