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About the author

Brett Frischmann is currently an attorney with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C.. He will clerk for the Honorable Fred I. Parker on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for the 2001-2002 term. Mr. Frischmann received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, his M.S. in Earth Resources Engineering from Columbia University, and his B.A. in Astrophysics from Columbia University. He can be contacted at frischkb@aol.com.
 

Privatization and Commercialization of the Internet Infrastructure: Rethinking Market Intervention into Government and Government Intervention into the Market
 
by Brett Frischmann
 

Abstract

This article analyzes the following general question: Will the full range of end-users be adequately supplied with the Internet in the long-term to satisfy their particular end-uses if the Internet infrastructure remains privatized and commercialized? In other words, if the Internet infrastructure is a necessary input for producing various public and private goods (i.e., in facilitating different end-uses), will procurement and commercial markets adequately supply society with Internet infrastructure? The article begins with a brief, descriptive account of the establishment, management, and eventual privatization, commercialization, and decommissioning of NSFNET, the precursor of today's Internet. Then, it develops and applies an economic model of Internet infrastructure to assess both the past and the future of the Internet, focusing primarily on the Internet's interconnection infrastructure. The article also explores the synergistic role of the Internet and individuals in the production of public goods.

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