An ever increasing number of people believe that the connection to a network is just as normal as the connection to the telephone network.

Vice President Al Gore is a great supporter of a high speed data network available to everyone. He has plans for the NII - National Information Infrastructure, which others may call datahighway or infobahn. The developments are led by the IITF - Information Infrastructure Task Force.

How the digital highway may look is still unclear. It seems as if the `open system' offers the greatest benefits.

The Netherlands is one of the most densely cabled countries in the world. However, not much is done with this by lack of vision, cooperation and initiative of industry and government departments. Until recently, the PTT was pessimistic about the digital highway and first wanted to experiment with the services.
  • Press release Planet Internet [NL]
  • In October it was announced that they, together with the publisher of Quote, would offer online services via Planet Internet.

    Experiments take place in Nijmegen and Wageningen where cable TV has been made interactive and provides access to the Internet.

    One of the requirements for a future digital highway is that it must be able to transmit data at a high speed. Images and sound need to be transferred without delay. ATM is seen as the technology which would allow this.

    A first step with ATM is made in The Netherlands with SURFnet4 [NL], a cooperative between PTT Telecom and SURFnet.

    A network between municipalities is being established through GemNet, which should be operational at the beginning of 1995. The digital highway has now become government policy: in December 1994 the National Action Plan Electronic Highways was presented. See the Democracy en Policy-page for more information.

    See for the European policy also the Europe page