FW: Background on Clinton-Gore Administration's `Next-Generation Internet Initiative'

Dan Kohn (dan@teledesic.com)
Thu, 7 Nov 1996 07:39:46 -0800

>From: Wendell Craig Baker[SMTP:wbaker@splat.Baker.COM]
>Sent: Thursday, November 07, 1996 3:48 AM
>To: grand-unification-theory@splat.Baker.COM
>Subject: Background on Clinton-Gore Administration's `Next-Generation
>Internet Initiative'
> Office of the Press Secretary
>For Immediate Release October 10,
> The Internet is the biggest change in human communications since
>the printing press. Every day, this rapidly growing global network
>touches the lives of millions of Americans. Students log in to the
>Library of Congress or take virtual field trips to the Mayan ruins.
>Entrepreneurs get the information they need to start a new business and
>sell their products in overseas markets. Caregivers for people with
>Alzheimer's Disease participate in an "extended family" on the
>Cleveland FreeNet. Citizens keep tabs on the voting records and
>accomplishments of their elected representatives.
> We must invest today to create the foundation for the networks of
>the 21st Century. Today's Internet is an outgrowth of decades of
>federal investment in research networks such as the ARPANET and the
>NSFNET. A small amount of federal seed money stimulated much greater
>investment by industry and academia, and helped create a large and
>rapidly growing market. Similarly, creative investments today will set
>the stage for the networks of tomorrow that are even more powerful and
>versatile than the current Internet. This initiative will foster
>partnerships among academia, industry and government that will keep the
>U.S. at the cutting-edge of information and communications
>It will also accelerate the introduction of new multimedia services
>available in our homes, schools, and businesses.
> Economic benefits: The potential economic benefits of this
>initiative are enormous. Because the Internet developed in the United
>States first, American companies have a substantial lead in a variety
>information and communications markets. The explosion of the Internet
>has generated economic growth, high-wage jobs, and a dramatic increase
>in the number of high-tech start-ups. The Next Generation Internet
>initiative will strengthen America's technological leadership, and
>create new jobs and new market opportunities.
> The Administration's "Next Generation Internet" initiative has
>three goals:
>1. Connect universities and national labs with high-speed
> networks that are 100 - 1000 times faster than today's
> Internet: These networks will connect at least 100
> universities and national labs at speeds that are 100 times
> faster than today's Internet, and a smaller number of
> institutions at speeds that are 1,000 times faster. These
> networks will eventually be able to transmit the contents of
> the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in under a second.
>2. Promote experimentation with the next generation of
> networking technologies: For example, technologies are
> emerging that could dramatically increase the capabilities
> of the Internet to handle real-time services such as high
> quality video-conferencing. There are a variety of research
> challenges associated with increasing the number of Internet
> users by a factor of 100 that this initiative will help
> address. By serving as "testbeds", research networks can
> help accelerate the introduction of new commercial services.
>3. Demonstrate new applications that meet important national
> goals and missions: Higher-speed, more advanced networks
> will enable a new generation of applications that support
> scientific research, national security, distance education,
> environmental monitoring, and health care. Below are just a
> few of the potential applications:
> Health care: Doctors at university medical centers will use
> large archives of radiology images to identify the patterns
> and features associated with particular diseases. With
> remote access to supercomputers, they will also be able to
> improve the accuracy of mammographies by detecting subtle
> changes in three-dimensional images.
> National Security: A top priority for the Defense
> Department is "dominant battlefield awareness," which will
> give the United States military a significant advantage in
> any armed conflict. This requires an ability to collect
> information from large numbers of high-resolution sensors,
> automatic processing of the data to support terrain and
> target recognition, and real-time distribution of that data
> to the warfighter. This will require orders of magnitude
> more bandwidth than is currently commercially available.
> Distance Education: Universities are now experimenting with
> technologies such as two-way video to remote sites, VCR-like
> replay of past classes, modeling and simulation,
> collaborative environments, and online access to
> instructional software. Distance education will improve the
> ability of universities to serve working Americans who want
> new skills, but who cannot attend a class at a fixed time
> during the week.
> Energy Research: Scientists and engineers across the
> country will be able to work with each other and access
> remote scientific facilities, as if they were in the same
> building. "Collaboratories" that combine
> video-conferencing, shared virtual work spaces, networked
> scientific facilities, and databases will increase the
> efficiency and effectiveness of our national research
> enterprise.
> Biomedical Research: Researchers will be able to solve
> problems in large-scale DNA sequencing and gene
> identification that were previously impossible, opening the
> door to breakthroughs in curing human genetic diseases.
> Environmental Monitoring: Researchers are constructing a
> "virtual world" to model the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, which
> serves as a nursery area for many commercially important
> species.
> Manufacturing engineering: Virtual reality and modeling and
> simulation can dramatically reduce the time required to
> develop new products.
> Funding: The Administration will fund this initiative by
>allocating $100 million for R&D and research networks to develop
>the Next Generation Internet. This increase in FY98 funding will
>be offset by a reallocation of defense and domestic technology
>funds. As with previous networking initiatives, the
>Administration will work to ensure that this federal investment
>will serve as a catalyst for additional investment by
>universities and the private sector.
> Implementation: The principal agencies involved in this
>initiative are the National Science Foundation, the Defense
>Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Energy,
>NASA, and the National Institutes of Health. Other agencies may
>be involved in promoting specific applications related to their
>1969 Defense Department commissions ARPANET to promote
> networking research.
>1974 Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf publish paper which specifies
> protocol for data networks.
>1981 NSF provides seed money for CSNET (Computer Science
> NETwork) to connect U.S. computer science departments.
>1982 Defense Department establishes TCP/IP (Transmission
> Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) as standard.
>1984 Number of hosts (computers) connected to the Internet
> breaks 1,000.
>1986 NSFNET and 5 NSF-funded supercomputer centers created.
> NSFNET backbone is 56 kilobits/second.
>1989 Number of hosts breaks 100,000.
>1991 NSF lifts restrictions on commercial use of the
> Internet.
> High Performance Computing Act, authored by
> then-Senator Gore, is signed into law.
> World Wide Web software released by CERN, the European
> Laboratory for Particle Physics.
>1993 President Clinton and Vice President Gore get e-mail
> addresses.
> Mosaic, a graphical "Web browser" developed at the
> NSF-funded National Center for Supercomputing
> Applications, is released. Traffic on the World Wide
> Web explodes.
>1994 White House goes on-line with "Welcome to the White
> House."
>1995 U.S. Internet traffic now carried by commercial
> Internet service providers.
>1996 Number of Internet hosts reaches 12.8 million.
> President Clinton and Vice President Gore announce
> "Next Generation Internet" initiative.
>[Source: Hobbes' Internet Timeline, v. 2.5]
>Business and University Leaders Endorse the Administration's
>Next-Generation Internet Proposal
>"Silicon Graphics applauds the current Administration for
>recognizing the power and limitless value of the Internet. Their
>forward-thinking Next Generation Internet initiative sets an
>example by leadership that will encourage organizations, in both
>public and private sectors, to fully leverage the Internet, and
>to become a part of the Information Age."
>Edward R. McCracken, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
>Silicon Graphics
>"I include myself among the many who have encouraged judicious
>Government sponsorship of research beyond the horizon of normal
>product development. The Next Generation Internet initiative
>builds on the foundation of earlier research sponsored by
>far-sighted funding agencies seeking to solve real problems but
>willing to take risks for the sake of high payoff. As in the
>recent past, the results of this program will almost surely
>trigger serendipitous discoveries and unlock billions of dollars
>in corporate product/service development. With any reasonable
>success, America will enter the 21st Century surfing a tidal wave
>of new networking technology unleashed by the Next Generation
>Vinton G. Cerf, Senior Vice President of Data Architecture, MCI
>"There is no question that the Internet would never have happened
>without the leadership of the government and universities working
>together. The Next Generation Internet will have an even bigger
>impact on the world."
>Eric Schmidt, Chief Technology Officer, Sun
>The continued advance of computer networking technology is
>fundamental to our nation's continued leadership in scientific
>research. Just as higher education, in partnership with industry
>and government, led in the development and realization of the
>Internet, this effort will once again focus our best minds on
>another significant advance in the use of network technology.
>The result will not only strengthen our research capability, but
>will also lead to innovations that provide broader access to
>Homer Neal, President, University of Michigan
>"The promise of a new generation of networks that will enable
>collaborative, multi-disciplinary research efforts is essential
>to meeting national challenges in many disciplines, and to ensure
>a continuing leadership role for the United States' academic
>community. Higher Education welcomes the opportunity for a
>renewed partnership with the federal government and industry to
>develop the advanced network infrastructure upon which these
>networking capabilities depend."
>Graham Spanier, President, Pennsylvania State University
>Qs and As on Next-Generation Internet Initiative
> October 10, 1996
>Q 1. Why does the government need to do this, given that the
>commercial Internet industry is growing so explosively?
> The U.S. research community and government agencies have
>requirements that can not be met on today's public Internet or
>with today's technology. For example, the Department of Defense
>needs the ability to transmit large amounts of real-time imagery
>data to military decision-makers to maintain "information
>dominance." Scientists and engineers at universities and
>national labs need reliable and secure access to remote
>supercomputers, scientific facilities, and other researchers
>interacting in virtual environments. The productivity of the
>U.S. research community will be increased if they have access to
>high-speed networks with advanced capabilities. These new
>technologies will also help meet important national missions in
>defense, energy, health and space.
> An initiative of this nature would not be undertaken by the
>private sector alone because the benefits can not be captured by
>any one firm. The Administration believes that this initiative
>will generate enormous benefits for the Nation as a whole. It
>will accelerate the wide-spread availability of networked
>multimedia services to our homes, schools and businesses, with
>applications in areas such as community networking, life-long
>learning, telecommuting, electronic commerce, and health care.
>Q 2. What are some of the capabilities that the "Next Generation
>Internet" will have that today's Internet does not?
> Below are just of the few of the possibilities. Many new
>applications will be developed by those using the Next Generation
>o An increased ability to handle real-time, multimedia
> applications such as video-conferencing and "streams" of
> audio and video -- very important for telemedicine and
> distance education. Currently, the Internet can't make any
> guarantees about the rate at which it will deliver data to a
> given destination, making many real-time applications
> difficult or impossible.
>o Sufficient bandwidth to transfer and manipulate huge volumes
> of data. Satellites and scientific instruments will soon
> generate a terabyte (a trillion bytes) of information in a
> single day. [The printed collection of the Library of
> Congress is equivalent to 10 terabytes.]
>o The ability to access remote supercomputers, construct a
> "virtual" supercomputer from multiple networked
> workstations, and interact in real-time with simulations of
> tornadoes, ecosystems, new drugs, etc.
>o The ability to collaborate with other scientists and
> engineers in shared, virtual environments, including
> reliable and secure remote use of scientific facilities.
>Q 3. Is it still Administration policy that the "information
>superhighway" will be built, owned, and operated by the private
> Absolutely. The Administration does believe that it is
>appropriate for the government to help fund R&D and research
>networks, however.
> Partnerships with industry and academia will ensure that the
>results of government-funded research are widely available.
>Q 4. Will this benefit all Americans, or just the research
> By being a smart and demanding customer, the federal
>government and leading research universities will accelerate the
>commercial availability of new products, services, and
>technologies. New technologies have transitioned very rapidly
>from the research community to private sector companies. For
>example, Mosaic, the first graphical Web browser, was released by
>the National Center for Supercomputing Applications 1993. By
>1994, Netscape and other companies had formed to develop
>commercial Web browsers. Today, millions of Americans use the
> The public will also benefit from the economic growth and
>job creation that will be generated from these new technologies,
>the new opportunities for life-long learning, and research
>breakthroughs in areas such as health.
>Q 5. What will it do about "traffic jams" on the Internet, or
>the ability of the Internet to continue its phenomenal rate of
> The lion's share of the responsibility for dealing with this
>problem lies with the private sector. Internet Service Providers
>will have to invest in higher capacity, more reliable networks
>to keep up with demand from their customers.
> However, this initiative will help by investing in R&D,
>creating testbeds, and serving as a first customer for many of
>the technologies that will help the Internet grow and flourish.
>One of the goals of the initiative is to identify and deploy
>technologies that will help the Internet continue its exponential
>rate of growth. Examples include:
>o Ultra-fast, all-optical networks;
>o Faster switches and routers;
>o The ability to "reserve" bandwidth for real-time
> applications;
>o A new version of the Internet Protocol that will prevent a
> shortage of Internet addresses;
>o "Multicast" technology that conserves bandwidth by
> disseminating data to multiple recipients at the same time;
>o Software for replicating information throughout the
> Internet, thereby reducing bottlenecks;
>o Software for measuring network performance; and
>o Software to assure reliability and security of information
> transmitted over the Internet.
>Q 6. How does this initiative relate to existing government
>programs, such as the High Performance Computing and
>Communications Initiative? Will this be a totally new network?
> The initiative represents an increase in the HPCC budget.
>The initiative will include both: (1) an expansion and
>augmentation of existing research networks supported by NSF, the
>Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and NASA; (2)
>new networks;and (3) development of applications by agencies
>such as the National Institutes of Health.
>Q 7. Are more technical details on the initiative available?
> The Administration intends to consult broadly with the
>research community, the private sector, and other stakeholders
>before developing the final technical details for this