Computer Makers Ask U.S. to Help With Data Network
America’s biggest computer companies said Tuesday that they want the government to help develop a high-speed data network that would let everyone from university scientists to grade school students use supercomputers.
They compared it to building an interstate highway system for electronic information.
“We see the opportunity to reshape the way people work, to reshape the way people learn,” said John Sculley, chief executive of Apple Computer Inc.
Sculley and the CEOs of other U.S. computer giants drew a picture of an America in the not-too-distant future, when supercomputers and high-speed data networks would let children use the Library of Congress to research their term papers.
Supercomputers are able to store vast amounts of information and work very fast. They are also hugely expensive, but the proposed high-speed communications network, ultimately shared by perhaps millions of users, could make pro-rata expenses quite reasonable, advocates say.
“This is really building the foundations for the economy of the future,” Sculley said.
Sculley spoke for the CEOs of other U.S. computer makers who belong to the Computer Systems Policy Project. They include John Akers of International Business Machines Corp., Kenneth Olsen of Digital Equipment Corp., John Rollwagen of Cray Research Corp. and John Young of Hewlett-Packard Co.