I thought this was interesting:
Would an organization called the Electronic Frontier Foundation already know that web browsers have been “leaving fingerprints behind” as people surf the internet for something like ten years? That is what the internet platform is designed to do. It was…
The car you drive on the autobahn does leave a (carbon) footprint too. People see what car you drive, with or without seatbelt, how fast, …
I see the Network == Roads. Internet and Web is just the term media and pundits to describe it.
Governments build roads, railways, harbours, airport terminals because they saw it as necessity for (and to accelerate) economic growth (industrial revolution was reliant on transportation).
Internet (ARPANET, Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) was a Government/Military funded project done by Universities. The Military saw benefits in instant communication of its computer assisted defence systems on the East- and West-Coast (Hawaii) and across the Atlantic (Norway). One has to remember that this was the time of the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war.
So, while various transportation networks were build, improved, extended during the Industrial Revolution to facilitate trade and economic well-being and efficiencies (urban travel - the NYC Metro), the Internet has the background of the Cold War and urge to protect this economic well-being.
And it took again Government (1991), representing public and economic interest, to build a platform where commercialisation can prosper.
Here is the document. Have a look who participated to draft it.
The United States would benefit significantly from the creation of a national research network (NRN). […]
An NRN would create a computer network infrastructure to provide much-needed support to the scientific research community. Data obtained by the committee regarding current and anticipated research activities demonstrate that an NRN could dramatically improve the productivity and quality of output of the U.S. research community. Through these direct .benefits, plus commercial spinoffs from associated computer and network research, an NRN could greatly promote U.S. competitiveness in a multiplicity of disciplines.
» The Guys invented Freemium (although not coined it).
To encourage the development and use of a widely accessible network service, the committee suggests that the NRN might provide (1) a universal basic service at some low to moderate speed for electronic mail at a low cost to users and (2) higher levels of service with an appropriate charging structure. A low charge for basic service would lessen the initial resistance that might otherwise be felt by first-time users and yet discourage the overloading that occurs with free networks.
» Why Academics, IBM, AT&T, Bell and others went to Congress?
This committee believes that unless a stable source of funding is provided, the NRN will never achieve the impact of which it is capable.