The Internet–Brought To You By Big Government

Excellent piece in this Sunday’s NYTimes about NSFNet, the direct progenitor to the Internet we have today. The last two sentences say it all,

For engineers and scientists like Mr. Medin, who went on to be a co-founder of @Home Networks and is now trying to build a national wireless data network, the NSFnet experience provides a lesson about interplay between technology and government policy.“In that era the government said, ‘Let’s experiment and move everyone forward,’” he said. “If you had waited for a market, it would never have funded an NSFnet.”

And we can conclude, based on this article, we would not have the Internet today. Further, we could add in telecomm and weather satellites, fiber-optics, computers, modern air transportation, jet engine, interstate highway system (official name: National Defense Highway System), and so many other things that we today take for granted but were funded and fielded first by…”Big Government”.Makes one, well me at least, rethink about positions regarding all of the bad talk about “Big Government”.

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