WASHINGTON, D.C. - I’d like to thank Brookings for hosting me and this discussion about the future of broadband and the Internet.
We’ve just finished a summer of big-ticket commemorations, celebrating the 40th anniversaries of the Apollo landing and of Woodstock; 1969 was also a good year to be a kid in New York, with Joe Namath calling the Super Bowl, and the Knicks’ season that ended with the legendary Willis Reed in Game 7. I grew up a long fly ball from Shea Stadium and soaked up every minute of the Miracle Mets’ season. Maybe that’s why I tend to believe in miracles.
But perhaps the most momentous birthday from that famous summer of 1969 went by just a couple of weeks ago with little mention. Just over forty years ago, a handful of engineers in a UCLA lab connected two computers with a 15-foot gray cable and transferred little pieces of data back and forth. It was the first successful test of the ARPANET, the U.S.-government-funded project that became the Internet -- the most transformational communications breakthrough since the printing press.
‘Preserving a free and open Internet: A platform for innovation, opportunity, and prosperity’