|FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler with protesters |
outside agency headquarters in Washington
Sound familiar? That’s what Internet pioneer Robert Metcalfe predicted in 1995 when he wrote that spiraling demands on the fledgling network would cause the Internet to “catastrophically collapse” by 1996.
Metcalfe, of course, was dead wrong: The Internet is still chugging along nearly twenty years later, with a predicted 3 billion users by year’s end.
Still, the Internet’s fate feels distinctly uncertain as 2015 begins. Washington is engaged in a furious debate over Net Neutrality, access to affordable broadband services is still considered a luxury for many, while governments here and abroad continue to filter digital communications to spy on everyone, crack down on dissident voices and silence speech.