The COOK Report

January 12, 1998

". . . in June AT&T researcher David Isenberg, in his web published essay "Rise of the Stupid Network." Isenberg articulated with great clarity and force with respect to the telephone network and the internet, what George Gilder has been saying more obscurely for several years with respect to telecommunications in general. The message: the Internet is a stupid network with big fast pipes connecting intelligent devices on users desktops at the periphery. Applying Internet technologies new companies such as Qwest and new technologies such as wave division multiplexing are set to create networks offering unprecedented amounts of bandwidth. In contrast the telephone companies' networks are intelligent networks designed to ration scarce bandwidth connecting dumb telephones across a smart network. In this showdown, Isenberg suggests that the victor will be "the Internet, which, because it makes the details of network operation irrelevant, is shifting control to the end user." But the phone companies which are still many times larger than the rapidly growing Internet are beginning to realize that the Internet has the potential make their entire infrastructure obsolete."

For more information see The Cook Report Website.

Date last modified: Jan 10 1998