recientes de Baran
Paul Baran era
hasta hace poco el Presidente del Directorio de Com21 Inc., Fundada por él en el año 1992. Baran
tiene un Bachelor en Ingeniería Eléctrica de la Universidad de Drexel y un Master
en Ingeniería de la Universidad de California, Los Ángeles. Baran es
co-inventor del Ruteo de Paquetes y ha recibido muchos premios y honores
por sus logros, entre ellos, la Medalla IEEE Alexander Graham Bell de la Bell.
Es miembro activo de la IEEE y de la AAAS.
Narrowing the Gap to Internet Access
As the Internet evolves, the gap
widens between information "haves" and "have-nots"--between
highly developed nations and those where it is said that two billion people are
yet to make their first telephone call. Not surprisingly, in underdeveloped
nations where a telephone is rare, access to the Internet is even rarer.
technologists, what can we do to ameliorate this problem? At the practical
level, we can't do much for the throngs of illiterate older folks who have
barely enough food to eat in those underdeveloped countries. But, if we handle
it right, there may be much that the Internet can do for their children. In the
longer term, providing their children with Internet access may also benefit our
children. The wars of today are primarily among the poorest countries of the
world, and small country wars have a historical propensity to act as tinder to
ignite larger conflagrations.
believe, if we make up our mind to do so, that we technologists can offer
access to the world's information to all the bright kids around the world and
accelerate the process of global educational equalization. Given that information
access is not a zero-sum game, sharing information allows all to win--with
economic equalization likely to follow at least in the information sector. If
the cost of computers, assuming the continuity of Moore's law, continues to
decline within 10 years to perhaps 3.5 percent of today's cost, then the pacing
factor is the cost of the communications channel.
communications technology best addresses the Internet access needs of children
in remote lands that lack any significant communications infrastructure? While
no single technology is ideal everywhere, the synchronous-orbit satellite can
cover one-third of the world. With electronically focused spot beams, high data
rates could be delivered to small, two-way ground stations.
most expensive system component is satellite bandwidth, so our challenge is to
make maximum, efficient Internet-shared use of a very expensive channel. Each
single satellite transponder is a fire hose, delivering on the order of 50
Mbps, while the upward information flow can be at low speed and low power
because the primary transmissions will be human-generated input requests.
approach, if successful, would broaden access to essentially all the world's
knowledge and thereby broaden access to education. With new opportunities for
education, the children in poorer nations stand to reap many benefits--with a
ripple effect that would extend to their families, neighbors, and governments.
such an ambitious proposal cost a lot of money and mean increased taxes for the
world's wealthier nations? The answer is "not necessarily," given the
potential longer-term indirect savings to the developed countries. To help
maintain world peace, for example, developed nations have long provided
billions in foreign aid to their poorer counterparts in the form of surplus
physical goods, loans to stabilize fiscally irresponsible governments, and
military weapons to protect weak countries from more predatory neighbors.
to the cost of conventional foreign aid, the cost of bringing Internet access
to the children of the world's poor nations will likely put us far ahead. An
investment today in Internet access for the young could well be an investment
in a more peaceable world tomorrow
the old proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to
fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Bringing the Internet to the young in the
backward parts of the world is equivalent to teaching them how to fish in the
evolving information world of tomorrow.
a wonderful challenge we have before us as we enter the new millennium!