Nets, Webs and the Information Infrastructure/Introduction



This primer attempts to capture the essence of current information and communications technologies that are relevant to policy makers in developing countries. The technologies, case studies and examples focus on the Internet (the “Net”), the World Wide Web (the “Web”), and the information infrastructure also known as the information highway.

In the first section, “Enter the Net,” current technologies are explained to give the policy maker an idea of the real world infrastructure crucial to building a country’s information infrastructure. Web sites and other references are provided for further reading.

The second section, “Viruses, Privacy and Security,” discusses the oft-spoken dangers of the Internet. Examples of actual regional and legislative initiatives addressing privacy and security issues on the Internet are given in boxes.

Section three, “Net 4 Us,” lays out the issues where government action is important. Topics in this section include the digital divide, open source, the language barrier, local content, broadband deployment, universal service, and universal access.