Information superhighway

The information superhighway or infobahn [1] [2] was a popular term used by the 1990s to refer to digital communication systems and the Internet telecommunications network . It is associated with United States Senator and later Vice-President Al Gore . [3]


There are a number of definitions of this term. Wired Style: Principles of English […] then-Senator Al Gore Jr. at a 1978 meeting of computer Industry folk, in homage to his father, Senator Albert Gore Sr. ” (71).

The McGraw-Hill Computer Desktop Encyclopedia defines the term as “a proposed high-speed communications system that was touted by the Clinton / Gore administration to enhance education in America in the 21st Century. (464) The internet was originally cited as a model for this superhighway, however, with the explosion of the World Wide Web .

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) olefins the term as “a golden road network for the high-speed transfer of information; esp (a) Proposed national fiber-optic network in the United States;. (B) the Internet .” The OED also cites the use of this term in three periodicals:

  • The Washington, DC, in a 776-mile system on the East Coast. ” , January 3, 1983 issue of Newsweek :” … information superhighways being built of fiber-optic cable will link Boston, New York, Philadelphia,
In 1972-1974 a prototype of INFOSTRADA was built in Poland. Superintendent of the United States of America in Algeria. 218. THE INFOSTRADA project by Andrew (Andrzej) Targowski , Informatyka, Systemow i Rozwoju(Informatics, Models of Systems and Developments), Warsaw, Poland: PWE, 1980, pp. 197-198.
  • The December 19, 1991 issue of the Christian Science Monitor : “Senator Gore calls NREN the ‘superhighway’-information catalyst for what he hopes will become a national fiber-optic network.”
  • The October 26, 1993 issue of the New York Times : “One of the technologies Vice President Al Gore is pushing is the information superhighway, which will link every other And huge collections of data. “

The working paper No. 179, 1994, of the Center for Coordination Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology describes the concept as follows: “The information superhighway directly connects millions of people, both to a consumer of information and a potential provider. .) Most predictions about the superhighway brings together the superhighway brings together millions of dollars, Of a person who could exchange information with one another,” [4] [1] [2] [2] [3] [2] [2] [2] [4]

Earlier similar phrases

Some other people used the term “superhighway” in application to telecommunications even earlier.

In 1964, M. Brotherton in his book Masers and Lasers ; How They Work, What They Do on p. 5, wrote about laser beams and used the term “superhighways” for communication. [5]

In 1974, Nam June Paik used the term “super highway” in application to telecommunications, which gave rise to the opinion that he could be the author of the term “superhighway information”. [6] In a 1974 proposal to the Rockefeller Foundation , “Media Planning for the Postindustrial Society – The 21st Century is now only 26 years away,” he used a slightly different phrase, “electronic super highway”: [7]

The building of new electronic super highways will become an even huger enterprise. Assuming we connect New York with Los Angeles by means of an electronic telecommunication network that operates in strong transmission ranges, as well as with continental satellites, wave guides, bundled coaxial cable, and also via laser beam fiber optics. The same as for a Moon landing , except that the benefits in term of by-products would be greater.

Al Gore reference

The reference to the Internet as “the information superhighway” acknowledges the parallel of the major achievements of Senators Al Gore Sr. , Who spearheaded the legislation Creating the Interstate Highway system , and Al Gore Jr., Who created the laws That Ultimately Commercial use allowed Of the then-nascent Internet.

See also

  • Al Gore and information technology
  • National Information Infrastructure
  • The Superhighway Summit
  • Knowledge policy
  • Internet metaphors
  • Cyberspace
  • Global village


  1. Jump up^ “Infobahn” was coined as an analogy with the German word Autobahn for “highway”
  2. Jump up^ The October 1994 issue of the American Journalism Review ,”Panel Vision”: “Over the last year countless articles have trumpeted the coming of the superhighway information. Fiber optic cable or enhanced phone lines. “
  3. Jump up^ Gregory GromovRoads and Crossroads of the Internet History: Chapter # 1 – First 130 Years of Internet History
  4. Jump up^ Paul ResnickRoles for Electronic Brokers
  5. Jump up^ M. Brotherton, “masers and lasers; How They Work, What They Do,” (McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1964).
  6. Jump up^ An interview with Nam June Paik
  7. Jump up^ Paik, Nam June. “Media Planning for the Postindustrial Society – The 21st Century is now only 26 years away” . Retrieved 27 May 2013 .

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