David posted a recent talk at the Broadband Communications Summit.
So, why was the Internet so miraculously successful, whereas all previous service models failed?
The answer is that the Internet was designed to be a Network of Networks. And the Internet became the miraculous value producer it did because it was a network of networks.
This is important: The Internet protocol is designed to ignore network-specific differences. It is designed to move data from any network to any other network from an x.25 network to an Ethernet, to a DSL connection, to a token ring network, to a StarLAN, to a switched data connection, to a SONET ring, to an ATM packet switch without any tweaks or engineering or interoperability testing.
The Internet Protocol was designed to ignore network-specific properties. If you implement the Internet Protocol according to the public specification that everybody has access to, and buy a connection to the Internet, it just works.
The spin-off of this one property is profound. It means that anybody at the edge of the Internet can put their application or service or content on the network. It also means that everybody on the Internet can access that application or service or content.
It also means that if you operate one of the Internet’s networks, it is futile (from an Internet perspective) to add value to your network specifically. The paradigmatic example comes from dial-up — the call waiting tone added value for a telephone company, but when were logged on to the Internet, call waiting was a pain in the asychronous connection.