President Clinton has asked Congress to support a next-generation Internet that "will operate up to a thousand times faster than today."

He has every right to think this is achievable, as most of the technologies are probably available. But they are available from a broad variety of suppliers, each in a proprietary way. The result will not be the Internet model of a ubiquitous, open network, but a series of fragmented and potentially proprietary networks that may be efficient but lack the full customer reach.

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