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This book contains a key component of the NII 2000 project of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, a set of white papers that contributed to and complements the project's final report, The Unpredictable Certainty: Information Infrastructure Through 2000, which was published in the spring of 1996. That report was disseminated widely and was well received by its sponsors and a variety of audiences in government, industry, and academia. Constraints on staff time and availability delayed the publication of these white papers, which offer details on a number of issues and positions relating to the deployment of information infrastructure.


Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 1997. The Unpredictable Certainty: White Papers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

632 pages |  8.5 x 11 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-06036-3
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-17414-5
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xiv
The National Information Infrastructure and the Earth Sciences: Possibilities and Challenges 1-9
Government Services Information Infrastructure Management 10-17
Cutting the Gordian Knot: Providing the American Public with Advanced Universal Access in a Fully Competitive Marketplace at the Lowest Possible Cost 18-25
The Role of Cable Television in the NII 26-30
Competing Definitions of 'Openness' on the GII 31-37
Communications for People on the Move: A Look into the Future 38-43
Building the NII: Will the Shareholders Come? (And if They Don't, Will Anyone Really Care?) 44-56
The Electronic Universe: Network Delivery of Data, Science, and Discovery 57-66
An SDTV Decoder with HDTV Capability: An All-Format ATV Decoder 67-75
NII and Intelligent Transport Systems 76-84
Post-NSFNET Statistics Collection 85-96
NII Road Map: Residential Broadband 97-100
The NII in the Home: A Consumer Service 101-109
Internetwork Infrastructure Requirements for Virtual Environments 110-122
Electric Utilities and the NII: Issues and Opportunities 123-132
Interoperation, Open Interfaces, and Protocol Architecture 133-144
Service Provider Interoperability and the National Information Infrastructure 145-155
Funding the National Information Infrastructure: Advertising, Subscription, and Usage Charges 156-164
The NII in the Home 165-167
The Evolution of the Analog Set-Top Terminal to a Digital Interactive Home Communications Terminal 168-177
Spread ALOHA Wireless Multiple Access: The Low-Cost Way for Ubiquitous, Tetherless Access to the Information Infrastructure 178-184
Plans for Ubiquitous Broadband Access to the National Information Infrastructure in the Ameritech Region 185-189
How Do Traditional Legal, Commercial, Social, and Political Structures, When Confronted with a New Service, React and Interact? 190-200
The Internet, the World Wide Web, and Open Information Services: How to Build the Global Information Infrastructure 201-204
Organizing the Issues 205-208
The Argument for Universal Access to the Health Care Information Infrastructure: The Particular Needs of Rural Areas, the Poor, and the Underserved 209-216
Toward a National Data Network: Architectural Issues and the Role of Government 217-227
Statement on National Information Infrastucture Issues 228-232
Proposal for an Evaluation of Health Care Applications on the NII 233-236
The Internet - A Model: Thoughts on the Five Year Outlook 237-240
The Economics of Layered Networks 241-247
The Fiber-Optic Challenge of Information Infrastructure 248-255
Cable Television Technology Deployment 256-270
Privacy, Access and Equity, Democracy, and Networked Interactive Media 271-279
As We May Work: An Approach Toward Collaboration on the NII 280-285
The Use of the Social Security Number as the Basis for a National Citizen Identifier 286-291
Estimating the Costs of Telecommunications Regulation 292-303
Residential PC Access: Issues with Bandwidth Availability 304-314
The National Information Infrastructure: A High Performance Computing and Communications Perspective 315-334
Nomadic Computing and Communications 335-341
NII 2000: The Wireless Perspective 342-350
Small Manufacturing Enterprises and the National Information Infrastructure 351-363
Architecture for an Emergency Lane on the NII: Crisis Information Management 364-373
Aspects of Integrity in the NII 374-377
What the NII Could Be: A User Perspective 378-387
Role of the PC in Emerging Information Infrastructures 388-396
NII Evolution - Technology Deployment Plans, Challenges, and Opportunities: AT&T Perspective 397-404
Enabling Petabyte Computing 405-411
Private Investment and Federal National Information Infrastructure Policy 412-415
Thoughts on Security and the NII 416-421
Trends in Deployments of New Telecommunications Services by Local Exchange Carriers in Support of an Advanced National Information Infrastructure 422-433
The Future NII/GII: Views of Interexchange Carriers 434-446
Technology in the Local Network 447-461
Recognizing What the NII Is, What It Needs, and How to Get It 462-468
Electronic Integrated Product Development as Enabled by a Global Information Environment: A Requirement for Success in the Twenty-first Century 469-478
Interoperability, Standards, and Security: Will the NII Be Based on Market Principles? 479-491
Technology and Cost Models for Connecting K-12 Schools to the National Information Infrastructure 492-510
Geodata Interoperability: A Key NII Requirement 511-520
Electronic Commerce 521-537
Prospects and Prerequisites for Local Telecommunications Competition: Public Policy Issues for the NII 538-545
The Awakening 3.0: PCs, TSBs, or DTMF-TV - Which Is Right for the Next Generation's Public Network? 546-552
Effective Information Transfer for Health Care: Quality versus Quantity 553-559
Integrating Technology with Practice: A Technology-enhanced, Field-based Teacher Preparation Program 560-575
RegNet: An NPR Regulatory Reform Initiative Toward NII/GII Collaboratories 576-604
Electronic Document Interchange and Distribution Based on the Portable Document Format, an Open Interchange Format 605-617

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