How fast is fast?


  • Elaine Friebele


Thanks to the Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative, in 5 years, information could flow a thousand times faster through business computer lines. Moreover, the Internet images and movies that slowly form on home computers today could arrive a million times faster, through the initiative by NASA and five other federal agencies—if Congress gives the go-ahead.

After endorsing NGI during his campaign and State of the Union address, President Clinton proposed $100 million for each of the next 3 years to fund the initiative. In April, however, the House Science Committee voted to postpone NGI funding until the Administration provides a more detailed plan. After discussion of the interagency program at a hearing, the committee is likely to authorize funding NGI in a separate bill.