In a broad account accessible to generalist and specialist alike, the authors—social scientists as well as technologists—address the current national debate about the development of a National Information Infrastructure. They locate the debate in its historical context and outline a bold vision of an open communications infrastructure that will cut through the political gridlock that threatens this "information highway."
The authors detail what is wrong with the political process on National Information Infrastructure policymaking and assess how different media systems (telecommunications, radio, television broadcasting, and the like) were originally established, spelling out the technological assumptions and organizational interests on which they were based and showing why the old policy models are now breaking down. This analysis leads logically to a policy proposal for a reformed regulatory structure that builds and protects meaningful competition but abandons its role as arbiter of tariffs and definer of the public interest.
About the Author
Lee W. McKnight is Associate Professor in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University.