cbelshaw (cbelshaw@MAIL.DIRECT.CA)
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 19:27:09 -9

17/10/96 19:12
I'm concerned about the implications of a newspaper report I read this
morning. It states that a group of universities is about to put the
finishing touches to Internet II, which will have a much larger
bandwidth than is typical at present.
The point of concern is that the report indicated that the
universities will restrict access to universities only. If this is so
the implication seems to be that a considerable number of research
papers, documents discussion summaries and the like will not be
available to the general public as they are now. And if this is so,
then I think the implications for Education and Technology could be
serious. Instead of going for openness as they did in the past, the
universities would be opting for boundaries and barriers. Once again
it would be rich v. poor in academia, and a denial of the
town-and-gown principlies of self-directed adult learning. It would
also have the effect of removing the wholesome results of a
university presence in the internet, since privatge enterprise would
surely step into the technical breach and dominate it. I have nothing
much against private enterprise, but a barrier between the
entrepreneurial world and academia is not my idea of the future. I
would like to know whether my information about Internet II is
correct; if so, who are members of the initial consortium -- and then
what can we do to influence the outcome and design. This is no longer
something that can be left solely to the ivory tower. And I speak as
one who is impassioned in favour of university independence -- which
doesn't mean isolation. Cyril B.