The Internet is for Everyone
RFC 3271

Document Type RFC - Informational (April 2002; Errata)
Was draft-isoc-internet-for-everyone (individual in ops area)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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IESG IESG state RFC 3271 (Informational)
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Network Working Group                                            V. Cerf
Request for Comments: 3271                              Internet Society
Category: Informational                                       April 2002

                      The Internet is for Everyone

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002).  All Rights Reserved.


   This document expresses the Internet Society's ideology that the
   Internet really is for everyone.  However, it will only be such  if
   we make it so.

1. The Internet is for everyone

   How easy to say - how hard to achieve!

   How have we progressed towards this noble goal?

   The Internet is in its 14th year of annual doubling since 1988.
   There are over 150 million hosts on the Internet and an estimated 513
   million users, world wide.

   By 2006, the global Internet is likely to exceed the size of the
   global telephone network, if it has not already become the telephone
   network by virtue of IP telephony.  Moreover, as many as 1.5 billion
   Internet-enabled appliances will have joined traditional servers,
   desk tops and laptops as part of the Internet family.  Pagers, cell
   phones and personal digital assistants may well have merged to become
   the new telecommunications tools of the next decade.  But even at the
   scale of the telephone system, it is sobering to realize that only
   half of the Earth's population has ever made a telephone call.

   It is estimated that commerce on the network will reach somewhere
   between $1.8T and $3.2T by 2003.  That is only two years from now
   (but a long career in Internet years).

Cerf                         Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 3271              The Internet is for Everyone            April 2002

   The number of Internet users will likely reach over 1000 million by
   the end of the year 2005, but that is only about 16% of the world's
   population.  By 2047 the world's population may reach about 11
   billion.  If only 25% of the then world's population is on the
   Internet, that will be nearly 3 billion users.

   As high bandwidth access becomes the norm through digital subscriber
   loops, cable modems and digital terrestrial and satellite radio
   links, the convergence of media available on the Internet will become
   obvious.  Television, radio, telephony and the traditional print
   media will find counterparts on the Internet - and will be changed in
   profound ways by the presence of software that transforms the one-way
   media into interactive resources, shareable by many.

   The Internet is proving to be one of the most powerful amplifiers of
   speech ever invented.  It offers a global megaphone for voices that
   might otherwise be heard only feebly, if at all.  It invites and
   facilitates multiple points of view and dialog in ways
   unimplementable by the traditional, one-way, mass media.

   The Internet can facilitate democratic practices in unexpected ways.
   Did you know that proxy voting for stock shareholders is now commonly
   supported on the Internet?  Perhaps we can find additional ways in
   which to simplify and expand the voting franchise in other domains,
   including the political, as access to Internet increases.

   The Internet is becoming the repository of all we have accomplished
   as a society.  It has become a kind of disorganized "Boswell" of the
   human spirit.  Be thoughtful in what you commit to email, news
   groups, and other Internet communication channels - it may well turn
   up in a web search some day.  Thanks to online access to common
   repositories, shared databases on the Internet are acting to
   accelerate the pace of research progress.

   The Internet is moving off the planet!  Already, interplanetary
   Internet is part of the NASA Mars mission program now underway at the
   Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  By 2008 we should have a well-functioning
   Earth-Mars network that serves as a nascent backbone of an inter-
   planetary system of Internets - InterPlaNet is a network of
   Internets!  Ultimately, we will have interplanetary Internet relays
   in polar solar orbit so that they can see most of the planets and
   their associated interplanetary gateways for most, if not all of the

   The Internet Society is launching a new campaign to facilitate access
   to and use of Internet everywhere.  The campaign slogan is "Internet
   is for everyone," but there is much work needed to accomplish this

Cerf                         Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 3271              The Internet is for Everyone            April 2002

   Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if it isn't affordable by
   all that wish to partake of its services, so we must dedicate
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