Realizing the Information Future: Technology, Economics, and the Open Data Network
The concept of a national information infrastructure (NU) that is more advanced and better integrated than the networks and other information delivery elements in use today has captured the imagination of many. The administration; Congress; trade, professional, and public interest organizations; companies; and individuals have aIl expressed NIl visions in relatively general terms. Those visions link improvements in the NIl to business development, productivity, and job growth as weIl as benefits in education, health care delivery, the conduct of government, and the quality of life. The widespread expectations for progress toward a better NIl reftect several forces, such as the cumulation of corporate and public sector experiences with networking; improvements in the sophistication, ease of use, and affordability of enabling computing and communications technologies; and expectations for lucrative markets. Although advancing the NIl may be timely, how it will advance, when, where, at what cost, and to whose benefit are aIl uncertain. Economic aspects, notably costs, cost incidence, and pricing possibilities, will vary with alternative technical, business, and public policy paths.