A Practical Navigator for the Internet Economy

THE NETWORK AND K-12 FERDI SERIM'S PERSONAL VISION OF REFORM

The lead story is a 12,000 word interview with Ferdi Serim on new developments in K-12 use of the internet. Because of time sensitive details in our story, we will publish this summary to the network on Weds morning March 9, - having already delayed publication for a full week.

We break three other stories:

1. PSI opens commercial internet venture in Japan.

2. Ameritech expected soon to announce region wide IP network to connect to Chicago NAP.

3. We also talk publicly for the first time about our experience as an NREN analyst at the US Congress Office of Technology Assessment.


JAPAN COMMERCIAL INTERNET: PSI ENTERS MARKET WITH IIKK ACQUISITION PP. 12-13, & 22.

The commercial internet has had a slow beginning in Japan. Centralized control of telecommunications and feuding between commercial and academic interests has kept prices and barriers to entry high.

IIKK is a foreign venture that succeeded in getting a license to offer commercial internet access in Japan while a Japanese venture still hasn't been licensed. Nevertheless a brief period in November (now know as the Internet wars) lead to a PSI buyout of IIKK and to what people see as an encouarging situation where the entry of PSI into the Japanesse market seems to be broadly applauded. We present some extensive interviews with sources in Japan.


VBNS & RA AWARD AUTHORIZATIONS MADE - MCI, MERIT, IBM AND ANS WIN, PP. 14-15

NSF 93-52 vBNS and Routing arbiter award authorizations announced by Steve Wolff on February 11 were pretty much what we predicted a month ago. The vBNS at a cost of $10 million a year goes to MCI for an ATM - SONET based OC-3c network. ANS was not mentioned as a subcontractor in documents presented to the National Science. However no one has attempted to refute our assertion that this is the case. Sprint launches protest.

THE NSB "AWARD AUTHORIZATION" MEMOS are published on pp. 16-17. SEEKING SOURCE OF STEVE WOLFF'S POLICY DIRECTION, P. 18

When Wolff, in FOIA response, states that he does not correspond with OSTP's Nelson or Gibbons, we elevate our FOIA to the level of NSF Director & staff.

AXES AND CURSOR'S, pp. 19 - 22.

A Discourse on Public Policy and the Editor's Role at The US Congress Office of Technology Assessment by Dave Hughes and Gordon Cook.

In mid Febrauary, acting on his own initiative on the WELL , Dave Hughes told TIME's Philip Elmer DeWitt his position on recent network events and described in some detail the Editor's experience on the OTA Assessment of the NREN. When Hughes sent us what he had written, we decided to publish it and interpolate - writing in first person singular - our own views.

By December 12, 1990 critical proponents, including Senate Staffer Mike Nelson were aware that the OTA report, going in the direction it was headed, was not likely to come out the way they had hoped and therefore would not be an NREN sales tool. The article will give readers a much clearer understanding of the pressure brought to bear - pressures that included OTA's hiring a step daughter of Congressman Hamilton Fish (who happens to be IBM's Congressman). Brought in to put the study "on track", this person, by getting it "redesigned" and getting some key issues thrown out, left it completely derailed. Seven more months of work by the Editor and another year's effort by his assistant were insufficient to produce an OTA "publishable" study. (After a week to ten days I'll send this article to those who request it. In the meantime hang on to your requests. I lack a good automated way to deal with ones sent now.)


AMERITECH TO OFFER IP TRANSPORT THROUGHOUT ITS SERVICE AREA MARK KNOPPER HIRED FROM MERIT TO RUN SERVICE

Ameritech has hired Mark Knopper from MERIT and will soon announce Ameritech Advanced Data Services (AADS) which will be offerring AADSNet, an IP regional network covering the Ameritech 5-state area (and beyond, eventually). The network provides access in each LATA to multiple internet network service providers (as yet unnamed), and AADS customers will have their choice of primary and backup long-haul providers. They support the usual alphabet soup (DS0, DS1, DS3, ATM, dialup PPP, ISDN...IP, IPX, OSI, SNA. From an official document: "AADS has submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation to act as Network Access Point (NAP) manager for the Chicago NAP, as part of the 1993 NSFNET solicitation. The AADSNet will be connected to the Chicago NAP.

AADSNet supports full and open connectivity to all internet providers, and will provide equal and non discriminatory access. AADS will join appropriate consortiums to foster good communications and participation among Internet service providers."

 

 

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR FOR INTERNET DISSEMINATION OF FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL INFORMATION? pp. 1-8

WE SUMMARIZE LIBRARIAN INTERACTION WITH USPS & PRESENT INTERVIEW WITH MANAGER OF USPS KIOSK PROGRAM

For the past year we have been seeing signs of the emergence of the US Postal Service into the realm of the Internet. The announcement of the Kiosk program last October 30 left the impression that the USPS intent was to provide general information windows onto the Internet. Gradually, however, it became clearer that the goal was to give citizens a tool to access only governmental information, and that the USPS had done much of its early planning without communication with the professional library community. Our research has led us to the conclusion that USPS is trying to position itself as a critical fulcrum for the dissemination of most Federal, state and even local government information on the Internet.

The USPS met with librarians in mid January to discuss the kiosk program which was seen as a means of connecting the kiosks to the Internet to answer general purpose reference questions. Among the conclusions of the librarians: "the USPS kiosk is a PC in a strengthened box that provides government information repackaged in subject categories the USPS kiosk project determines appropriate. The USPS is uninformed by the input of public service librarians."

On March 16 we had a long interview with Susan Smoter the Manager of the USPS Kiosk Program. Among the things she told us: "The Postal Service was asked in March of 1994 to lead an inter-governmental task force and do a study on whether kiosks were a viable technology for disseminating electronic government service applications. In other words for the distribution of information as well as transactions such as ordering stamps or birth certificates. We want to integrate federal, state, and local programs in many areas to reduce the complexity of transacting one's business with the government. We pulled together 50 volunteers from 18 different agencies. "

Later in the interview Smoter said: The Postal Service is involved because it feels that this kind of integration needs to be directed and orchestrated because it won't happen on its own. Now a lot of agencies know that they need to automate their service delivery. But what we are going to get, if we just let it go its natural route, is electronic, but segregated, service delivery that is still just as confusing or perhaps even worse that what we have now.

COOK Report: So the Post Office is positioning itself as systems integrator for government agency information and would assist these other agencies for a fee?

Smoter: That is one possible scenario. At this point we believe that the integration won't happen on its own. Therefore we are willing to serve as a facilitator for this to happen."

While the USPS denies that it is seeking to be the main agency for distribution of a single "smart card" for interaction with all government services, it is heavily involved with what it call electronic postmarking services, electronic certification and bonded documents. It seeks to be able to certify the electronic identity of customers for transaction with agencies such as IRS. For three years it has been running a test certication program with the Federal Aviation Administation.

The USPS program apparently needs no statutory authorization. Funding for it apparently is small and vigorous efforts are underway to find ways to be self supporting - in other words what will kiosk user be willing to pay and will advertising on kiosk screen be successful?

After our interview with Susan Smoter, Manager of the Kiosk Program, we conclude that there is a well defined very ambitious program that from the USPS point of view at least makes reasonable sense. One major unknown however is that by potentially linking Federal, State and local data bases it has enormous privacy ramifications. We predict that how these shake out will have a major impact on the success of failure of the USPS role in shaping national information infrastructure.


THE COMMERCIALIZED NET BUILDS INFRASTRUCTURE: ACTION MOVES TO NAPS. pp. 1, 9-10, 24

Some major infrastructure building is going on among the National Service Providers. Network Interexchange points (known as NAPs) are now just as important as national backbone now that multiple players are in the picture. We survey the highlights of a rapidly changing landscape.

MAE-West is ramping up as the major west coast interchange as an FDDI ring with its central point at NASA Ames. MCI and Sprint are focusing most efforts there leaving PAC Bell's ATM NAP a bit out in the cold. The California and Chicago NAPs having bet on ATM have had to construct FDDI rings as back stops for the uncertain ATM technology. However we are told that as of the last few days ATM has become functional at both NAPs. We discuss connection, transport and peering issues at MAE-East + which NSF is also using as the non priority Washington DC NAP.

We compare the recent evolution of Sprint, MCI, and BBN. While we admire the role that Sprint has played up to this point, we are concerned that Kansas City still doesn't understand the significance of the Internet and is allowing MCI to overwhelm Sprint's earlier investment. MCI leads Sprint 9 to 5 in the number of regionals signed up for backbone service according to the March network transition report. The MCI nets moreover are by far the largest of the regionals.

At Interop MCI announced nationally available 800 number accessible shell accounts for $19.95 a month (unlimited usage) for the months of April, May, and June. MCI will certainly make a major impact among first time network users, and for the next 90 days there should be nothing better going nationwide. The big question becomes what kind of service MCI will be able to give if a million people sign up wihin the next 30 days. Also how many attracted at the 19.95 a month for unlimited usage will find out how to migrate to local ISPs when the price goes up July 1?


NYNEX, Sprint & NYSERNet, pp. 11-13

Having first heard about the reorganization of NYSERNet from Richard Mandelbaum last summer, we decided to find out how it had all turned out. We interviewed Bill Russell a New York University member of NYSERNet's extended technical committee. What we found out is that the transition seems to be working well for the R&E community and that the commercial community of small ISPs, while totally dissatisfied with NYNEX service really have no complaints against NYSERNet.

Network Charging Models, pp. 15-19

On March 9-10 at MIT an important conference was held to discuss technical and economic issues in internet charging models. We present a summary of the interexchange between Taxpayer Assets and the conference organizers and the unofficial and short conference summary. We also present Dave Hughes' critique of US West's actions in the Colorado legislature.

Wireless in the San Luis Valley p.20

A private update from Dave Hughes on his progress towards wireless by pass of the local loop in the San Luis Valley.

Part 2 of Colorado Study pp.21-22

We have room for only two pages this month. 72 pages left to publish. We shall publish very likely less than 20 more pages in regular issues of the Cook Report.

 

 

THE INTERNET AS CORPORATE MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORM ANALYSIS OF WEAKNESSES OF TRADITIONAL PUBLISHERS' AppROACH TO INTERNET USE EVOLVES INTO MECKLERWEB

New Service - Announced Here for First Time - Has Potential to Change Commercial Use of Internet pp. 1-5. This article is the first announcement of MecklerWeb, a very innovative Internet publishing and communications service. We describe Chris Locke's ideas about the future of electronic publishing and the Internet. Locke notes that most publishers have so far thought only in terms of transfering the standard Gutenburg hard copy paradigm to electronic format. He is not impre ssed by the ability to read Time or the New York Times online. He also describes the controlled circulation technical publication as an endangered species. Why? Because as Internet growth and technical capability continues to increase, companies will begin to question spending large dollar amounts for one time non dynamic hard copy advertisements. He foresees the ability to mount text and visual data on an internet gopher or web server at an order of magnitude less cost as an attractive alternative. We conclude with Locke's description of MecklerWeb, the commercial service he is launching for Mecklermedia. This service will offer companies a turnkey service for establishing an internet presence via the ability to announce goods and services on a Wor ld Wide Web based server accessible via such browsing tools as Mosaic. Additional services coordinated by industry based coalitions are planned. (Article is 27 kilobytes long)

COX ENTERPRISES, BELLSOUTH & PRODIGY INVOLVED IN JOINT VENTURES IN ATLANTA AREA, pp. 6-8

COX Enterprises has initiated a joint venture with BellSouth that will offer an N11 dial up service for electronic yellow pages and for the classified ads of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. It also is about to initiate a regional Prodigy Service. We publish a detailed summary of a talk given by COX Public Policy VP Alex Netchvolodoff at the TeleStrategies Bell Atlantic TCI Merger Conference in mid December. Also included is an interview with the developer of the regional Prodigy.

INTERVIEWS SHOW ADVANCED NETWORK AND SERVICES COMMERCIAL MARKETING EFFORTS IN DISARRAY, pp. 9-10.

Over nearly three months in interviews with present and past ANS employees, we have sought an understanding of the workings of the company. We learned that, from the inside its functioning as a government funded testbed for the products and services of it s sponsors was more important than its commercial mission. Employees told us that the commercial mission was hindered from the very beginning CEO Al Weis' lack of understanding of the Internet's culture and the needs of the commercial market place. ANS was never able to get a clear marketing mission statement put together and signed off on by everyone. As a result many marched to their own tune while the company with its basic operating infrastructure costs paid for by the NSF never fully understoo d what the actual cost of its delivery of commercial services was. The boundaries between CO+RE and the non profit branch of the company were never clearly demarcated. Both the image of the company and responsibilities of individuals were blurred. Run by research oriented technologists, ANS had difficulty developing a close rapport with its customers. Long term marketing functions were never developed and a plan to salvage the regional sales effort rebuffed. On January 1, 1994 Joel Maloff sales V P left the company.

ONE PERSON'S VIEW OF TECHNICAL SYNERGIES BETWEEN ANS AND NT, p. 10 MCI AND ANS WILL WIN THE VBNS - NSF SPREADS PRIZES WIDELY - CAN OF WORMS SEEN IN INTER - REGIONAL CONNECTIONS. pp. 11-12

We believe that we have been able to piece together with a great deal of certainty the identities of the winners of at least the first two components of NSF Solicitation 93-52. Herewith the prize winners: 1. The very high speed backbone: MCI with ANS as subcontractor. 2. The Network Access Points: New York City - Sprint Chicago - Ameritech and Bellcore Washington DC - Metropolitan Fiber Systems California - BARRnet and PacBell (we don't feel 100% about this one - i.e. the California NAP) 3. Inter-regional Connectivity is the messiest of the lot. Here while we are not certain, we believe that we see the clear outlines. CoREN apparently gets the award for its mid-levels while not yet having a transport agreement signed with an IXC. CoRE N has apparently had a falling out with MCI which has been unable to bid the desired ATM srevices. The other mid-levels we hear are being funded to do their own thing. The most dire view is that there could be the making of a chaotic situation, as a res ult of which the connectivity of ANSnet may be very difficult to replace -- opening the possibility of a third extension for MERIT and ANS. Two quotes from the article: "one view that suggests the current ANS backbone is unlikely to become CoREN. Since CoREN is to be ATM based the routers will therefore have to be different. It also emphasizes a recent falling out between CoREN and MCI app arently based on MCI's alleged unwillingness to give credible ATM delivery dates and pricing to CoREN. This fact and the fact that only about half the major mid-levels joined CoREN will ensure that there will be a lot of disruption. When you combine CoR EN's insistence on starting with ATM with the fact that most of the rest of the mid-levels are being funded to 'do their own thing,' a smooth transition is unlikely." "The players now seem so sure of the direction of the awards that they are changing employers. In addition to Vint Cerf moving from CNRI to MCI in early January, on January 18 ANS lost another vice president. Phill Gross, the Chair of IETF who had worke d for Cerf at CNRI before going to ANS in early 1991 moved back to MCI where he will again work on network architecture under Cerf. We are told that Gross took most of his staff with him to MCI."

HAS ANS FULFILLED CONDITIONS IMPOSED ON IT BY NSF IN SEPTEMBER 1990? pp. 12-13

Response to a COOK Report FOIA reveals that the NSF does not know.

IBM BUYS BANDWIDTH MANAGERS FOR ANS, p. 13

With network running at trueT-3 capability for the first time in December 1993 application of this equipment becomes practical.

WE LOBBY NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD, pp.14-16

We reprint a January 25th "briefing" sent to the National Science Board that reminds them of the controversial elements of the NSF 93-52 award they will be asked to approve on Feb. 10 -11, 1994. Summarizing the checkered history of the last 3 years we pr esent a case against an ANS-MCI reaward.

THE NSF DIRECTOR'S ROLE IN THE SOLICITATION - CAN THE NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD EXERT EFFECTIVE OVERSIGHT? pp. 17-18

We reprint com-priv comment from Steve Wolff explaining his role in the selection process for NSF 93-52. We add the results of our research into the actions of the National Science Board which having 40 to 50 NSF recommendations per meeting to approve se ldom if ever refuses to endorse what comes up from below.

COMPUTER NETWORKS AND HEALTH CARE - PART 4, pp. 18 - 21

We publish the final installment of our special report, Computer Networks and Health Care. The installment is in two parts: a short Policy Agenda for Using the Internet for Medical Commerce and lengthy section called a Short Guide to Resources.

 

 

COMMERCIAL INTERNET EXCHANGE - INTERVIEW WITH THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR pp. 1- 6.

In a rare interview with Bill Washburn, CIX Excutive Director we discuss issues affecting the CIX that emerged from a debate on the com-priv list that we touched off in mid-March. In the interview Washburn positioned the CIX at a mid point in the policy spectrum between the NAPs which could have strong policy restrictions and MAE East which has none.

He noted that CIX has two requirements - all members must peer with each other at the CIX router and must accept all traffic from each other without settlements. What many outsiders do not realize is that CIX membership currently buys connection to and unrestricted traffic with 44 commercial internet service providers worldwide -- something that would be difficult and expensive to negotiate via one on one arrangements.

Wasburn acknowledged an on-going dispute with ANS about routing. ANS apparently has some preferences that the CIX Board so far has not agreed with. On the issue of reselling Washburn brought up a new point that we have not seen discussed in public. ***A service provider with only one POP need not be considered a reseller and therefore need not join the CIX in order to get CIX routing from its provider.***

In discussing whether the annual $10,000 CIX membership fee should be seen as a barrier to entry in the marketplace, Washburn said there is a feeling that CIX membership should stand for a degree or level of a basic quality of service that must be maintained -- one that would embrace customer support and service.

Washburn explained in part the issue of some entities getting CIX routing through their providers was an unavoidable fallout of providers having to be free to make billateral arrangements with other providers who may or may not be CIX members. Despite the fact that relationships between some regional members and some purely commercial members had been strained, he indicated that he felt a convergence between the interests of the CIX and the regionals would likely take place. Why? Because in order to survive, the regionals will increasingly have to operate with the same balance sheet concerns as the commercial nets.

Finally he commented on our concern that the CIX had not been doing a good job of telling its story to the rest of the network, by saying that he simply didn't have the time to answer questions from com-priv. However, he held out some hope that it may figure out how to take questions in a public network forum.


CIX: A SUMMARY FROM THE COM - PRIV DEBATE. PP 7-13.

From serveral hundred kilobytes of com-priv discussion we have culled about 5000 words of arguments pro and anti CIX and its policy. We Include sidebars with the CIX membership list, an explanation of the ANS routing issue and of the tools necessary to analyze routing to and from the CIX Inter-exchange point.

AT&T AND CIX MEMBERSHIP, PP. 14, 24

AT&T has initiated nationwide commercial TCP/IP frame relay service. Yet it so far has not joined CIX. We ask why?

CONYERS GOV'T OPERATIONS. COMMITTEE REBUKES NSF DIRECTOR FOR VBNS OUTCOME, PP. 15

On April 12 Congressman John Conyers citing "numerous allegations questioning the propriety of the NSF's efforts to acquire telecommunications services," gave Director Neal Lane until April 27 to supply answers to the Committe on the process used in choosing MCI as the winner of NSF 93-52. Conyers stated that he was particularly troubled by NSF's use of a cooperative agreement rather than a contract. Sources on the Hill to us that it could be as long as two months before a decision about a full fledged investigation is made. We publish Conyer's April 12 Letter to Neal Lane in full.

NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT NSF POLICY & COMMERCIAL USE OF VBNS, P.16

. After down playing its importance, the NSF announces it will subsidize academic connections to the vBNS. An informant suggests that if the vBNS carries but a single OC-3 connection commercial resale may be inappropriate. Need for NSF to specify a quality of service metric is pointed out.

NSF REFUSED TO ANSWER PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS QUESTIONS ON COMMERCIAL USE IN JUNE OF 93 BIASING THE COMPETITION THEN UNDERWAY, P. 18.

COOK Report under FOIA has obtained complete questions submitted to NSF in May 1993. Examination reveals that Bellcore, Ameritech, Advantis, COOK Network Consultants and NCAR asked about Commercial use. While no one at NSF answred these questions it seems that NSF went ahead with its own definition in mind and is now ready to fund MCI's development of a commercial service. Amendment 2 to NSF 93-52 said it answered all substantive questions. DNCRI Director Wolff again on 11/30/93 said NSF answered all substantive questions. We wonder NSF did not consider commercial use questions to be substantive -- especially in the context of the perceived favoritism and stretching of the rules in Wolff's earlier grant of commercial use to ANS (comprised of the current winners MCI and IBM).

NSF also reveals that it has no data on MCI cost sharing proposals, no legal support for Wolff's 12/29/93 declaration that he had statutory authority to grant commercial use,and no audit data on how the current awardee is carrying out its commercial use privilege.


FOIA RESPONSES INDICATE ABSENCE OF POLICY COMMUNICATION BETWEEN OSTP, HPCC NCO AND NSF, P. 19.

PL 102-194 calls for an HPCC Program to be established by the President. Such a program is to exert management and oversight responsibilities as well as carry out a coordination function. The Clinton Administration has established a Coordination Office but seems to have left congressionally mandated oversight and management responsibility to the agencies. Responses to our FOIAs indicate **no discussions of policy** between OSTP, the Coordination Office at NLM and NSF!! In absence of acknowledged policy guidance, we call on Conyers to ascertain where the legislative intent of PL 102-194 is being carried out.

SPRINT'S APRIL 8 SUBMSSION TO GAO, PP. 21, 23

. Sprint initiates a new ground of protest over the failure of the NSF to answer the questions asked by prospective bidders on commercial use of the vBNS. It charges that NSF biased the competition in favor of MCI, a partner in the current cooperative agreement and beneficiary of NSF's current grant of commercial use.

Sprint also develops an new jurisdictional argument for GAO. It calls for GAO to hold a hearing to take oral testimony. Finally it asks that GAO force NSF to turn over an extensive collection of documents pertaining to cost sharing and commercial use. We include extensive excerpts from the filing. GAO was to have ruled by April 15th. Sprint regards the fact that they have not ruled as we go to press (April 24) as a favorable sign.

 

 

Russia Successfully Building its Own Internet - Soros ISF in Controversy, pp.1-9

We publish the first 30% of our report on the Russian Internet. Offering a detailed description of Relcom, the largest Russian computer network. We also describe RELARN, the entity established in 1992 to funnel government subsidies to Russian research and education networking. We then describe the complex history of the development of the Moscow Backbone - a fiber backbone designed to link 6 major network providers and 15 research institutes within Moscow. Work on the backbone halted during the winter when a dispute broke out between Relcom and the International Science Foundation of George Soros.

We break off the first installment in the middle of a section on the role of the Soros ISF which with changes in its top personnel has had difficulty in establishing a coherent policy direction but which, if it carries through with its spending plans, will be in a position to exert tremendous power in both the establishment and execution of science and telecommuncations policy in Russia. Relcom (which is the only major Russian network that doesn't owe its market position largely to an investment of foreign capital and technology) apparently with some reason fears that the ISF would like to replace it.


Confused Reports from NCAR pp. 10, 20

We describe NCAR's concern about having to pay for its connection to a NAP under the new NSF architecture. It turns out that not even high level management at NCAR was aware any details regarding the vBNS and NAP architecture in mid June. We wonder aloud whether MCI had to specify such architecture in its proposal for the vBNS.

We Protest NSF's Grant of Commercial Use of the vBNS to MCI pp. 11-12

We publish the full text of our protest based on our conclusions of an apparent pattern of unreviewed grants of commercial use first with the NSFnet Backbone and then with the vBNS. We ask GAO to review whether the DNCRI Director has exceeded the grounds of his authority and to define the grounds on which such a federal official may make such grants in the first place. The GAO denied our protest on the grounds that for it to have jurisdiction we would have to be an "interested party." It cites 1991 case law stating that a taxpayer is not an "interested party."

NEARnet Buys BARRnet p. 13

We review the circumstances behind NEARnet's strong growth and the emergence of Bolt Baranek and Neuman as a service provider of national significance. We also summarize the contents of our reply to an unusually sharp flame from CERFnet Executive Director Kent England advising Joe Stroup that the day of the small service provider on the Internet was finished.

La Resolana Electronica - by Dave Hughes p. 15

We publish Dave's successful mid April proposal to the Morino Foundation. Dave is embarking on a project to link to each other and to the Internet powerful OS2 and NAPLPS based BBSs in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, the Rio Grande Institute in Santa Fe, the University of New Mexico as well as three Pueblos in northern New Mexico.

Under the guidance of Tomas Atencio, Carmen Gonzales, Noel Dunne and Pueblo leaders, these systems will emulate the educational, community and economic development of Montana's Big Sky Telegraph system. They will however go several steps further. They are based on OS2 with operational and cost advantages described by Hughes. (More powerful than a BBN Copernicus Server at about half the price - our comment.)

They will also be based on Hughes' NAPLPS Troika program that will allow users to create pictures and drawings and send them easily as automatically uuencoded and uudecoded internet email. Incoming drawings are automatically decoded and painted to the user's screen on the fly.

These NAPLPS capabilities will be used in the most interesting part of the experiment an attempt to take the Resolana, the heart of the culture of the Hispanic village community and integrate it into the online world. Can community wisdom in the fullest Hispanic sense be transplanted into carefully crafted systems in Cyberspace? Tomas Atencio thinks Hughes has the necessary tools to achieve this. He also believes that if Hughes is right, Hispanics across America may be able to integrate themselves into the telecommunications based economy without having to abandon their cultural heritage. We conclude that Hughes and his Hispanic co-conspirators are experimenting to see if the Information Superhighway can be built as though people really mattered.