Prompt: The interoperability of standards and technolgoies has been a driving goal of global telecommunications policy for 150 years. Yet, obstacles from varying political, geographic, legal, competitive, and other fields often force cleavages and result in inequal access to ICTs.
For the paper, I want you to
A) Walk me through one such barrier to open, interoperable, and equitable communications that has impacted you and the course of your life. For example, we saw that submarine cables largely exclude Cuba from the global internet; and we heard how the unintended consequence of allocating IP addresses by location means you often share your location without meaning to. Relate this barrier to a formative experience – positive or negative – that you had with the web, mobile internet, or networked device. Have technical decisions changed the way you met friends or partners, searched for universities or jobs, etc.?
B) Consider how historical developments led to this barrier. Sample questions to consider are, How did the decisions by the network’s designers impact you? Did they plan for one use case or scenario, but not yours? What have policymakers and regulators done, or not done, to intervene between yourself and those platforms or users you connected with?
C) Tell me how you might design a system, whether through technology, standards, governance, or other method, to erase the barrier or mitigate its impacts. How would you improve our global communications infrastructure, with its legacy of construction and architecture with particular geographic quirks; its general openness and end-to-end accessibility; the ‘dumb’ nature of the data cables and TCP/IP, which allow all sorts of content, so long as you use the right protocol; or the interoperable network across (most) oceans and borders?
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