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On September 15, 1993, the Clinton Administration released an "Agenda for Action" for the National Information Infrastructure. The report described the role of the federal government in promoting the development of the telecommunications and information infrastructure by the private sector, and in ensuring that all Americans had access to that infrastructure. That infrastructure would connect the nation's businesses, residences, schools, health care facilities and public information providers through advanced, interactive, high-speed networks.
The report noted that the NII encompasses a wide range of equipment including cameras, scanners, keyboards, telephones, fax machines, computers, switches, compact disks, video and audio tape, cable, wire, satellites, optical fiber transmission lines, microwave nets, televisions, monitors, and printers. All of these would be interconnected "in a technologically neutral manner so that no one industry will be favored over any other."
The "Agenda for Action" originally identified nine principles that would guide the NII initiative:
- (1) promote private sector investment;
- (2) extend universal service — ensure that information is available to all at affordable prices;
- (3) promote technological innovation and new applications;
- (4) promote seamless, interactive, user-driven operation;
- (5) ensure Information security and network reliability;
- (6) improve management of spectrum;
- (7) protect intellectual property rights;
- (8) coordinate with other levels of government and other nations; and
- (9) provide access to government information and improve procurement.
These nine principles were collapsed to five: encourage private investment; provide and protect competition; provide "open access"; avoid creating information "haves and have nots"; and encourage flexible and responsive Government action.