Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 1997)

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Subject: Is Bob Metcalfe right or wrong?
From: garyb @ outlawnet . com (Gary Bickford)
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 1997 18:05:43 -0800
To: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM

This list seems to allow a fair amount of editorial content on the part of
the members, so I'd like to raise two related issues.  Since many of the
members of this list may be directly affected, hopefully you won't all
flame me for wasting bandwidth. :^}  If you don't think this is
list-related but do have an opinion, feel free to reply directly to me and
I'll summarize later.

1.      [Email Charging]  Bob Metcalfe, (inventor of Ethernet and
co-founder of 3COM, thinks the internet is due for serious brownouts -
thousands of people unable to get access for hours at a time)  One of his
recommendations, which would also "fix" the economics of email, is to
charge on a per-piece and/or routed mileage basis for all email.  Actually,
he recommends it for all traffic, but let's stick to email here.

2.      [Local Access] The FCC is considering allowing local phone
companies to charge ISPs as much as 1.5 to 2 cents per minute (90 cents to
$1.20 per hour) for line access, which would no doubt be passed on to the
user.  [I note that Bill Gates seems to be in favor of this.]

According to Webweek magazine (, the FCC has installed an
email address for _informal_ comments on this issue at isp @
 fcc .
 gov .
Deadline for _formal_ comments is 2/21.  All formal comments will be posted

For my part, I think that local telephone competition and fast-connect
technologies such as ISDN should make question #2 obsolete, unless they
manage to get it through FCC before the technology and market deal with it.

Gary Bickford, FXT Corporation
System integration, active web site design, intranets.
garyb @
 fxt .
 com 541-923-3060

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