Clinton Calls for Internet II

October 11, 1996

Clinton Calls for Internet II

President Clinton proposed a $100 million plan last week to upgrade the backbone of the Internet by expanding the use of fiber optics and developing software to reduce bottlenecks in online traffic.

Clinton said the plan would create what he called "Internet II by improving the ability of universities and national laboratories to do high-speed collaborative research. The proposal would be the first phase in a long-range plan of public investment to increase the speed and capacity of the Internet. The President's Science and Technology Council estimates the government must spend between $350 million and $650 million over the next five to six years to complete the upgrade to the next-generation Internet.

Clinton's plan earmarks $70 million from the fiscal 1998 Defense Department budget and $30 million from the domestic discretionary budget for the effort, spreading it among the National Science Foundation, the Defense Department, and the Energy, Commerce and Education departments.

Clinton announced the proposal at a campaign rally in Knoxville, Tenn., where he proposed a plan to give the nation's 100,000 public schools and 9,000 libraries free access to the Internet. The service would be paid out of a fund that currently subsidizes poor and rural phone users. Telecommunications companies pay an industry-based fee that goes into the fund.

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