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Telecommunications and the Internet

Challenges to the Network

image of Telecommunications and the Internet

This report, prepared by ITU, was released to coincide with the TELECOM Interactive 97 Exhibition and Forum, held in Geneva, 8-14 September 1997. The report looks at the relationship between the Internet and the public telecommunication sector.

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Internet commerce

In July 1995, The Economist introduced its first ever survey of the Internet with the following statement: “The explosive growth of the Internet is not the result of a fad or a fluke, but the result of a digital free market unleashed”.1 Netscape founder Marc Andreesen, one of the few people to have exploited that digital free market profitably, has described the Internet as “... a platform for entrepreneurial activities- a free market economy in its truest sense. Its a level playing field where people can do anything they wanted to”2. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and someone who became seriously rich well before the Internet was considered as a tool for business expansion, describes a coming era of “friction-free capitalism”3 in which the Internet becomes a model for a new way of doing business.

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